Trib HSSN baseball player of the week for May 19, 2024

Sunday, May 19, 2024 | 7:13 PM

Trib HSSN baseball player of the week — Dylan Smith

School Blackhawk

Class — Junior

Position — Pitcher, left field

#Earned — There are eyebrow raisers, and then there are double eyebrow raisers. A No. 16 seed beating a top seed in the first round is a monumental diamond stunner. That is what happened in the opening round of the WPIAL Class 4A playoffs as underdog Blackhawk upset top-seeded Belle Vernon thanks in large part to the performance of junior pitcher Dylan Smith. At the plate, Smith was 2 for 3 with three RBIs. On the mound, he threw 6 1/3 innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits against a team averaging 6.5 runs per game. Smith struck out seven before being lifted when he hit his pitch count, turning things over to sophomore Aidan Gill to get the final two outs and shock the district.

What coach says — “How calm and confident he was,” Blackhawk coach Lou Wolber said when asked what stood out about Smith’s overall performance. “The confidence he has in all his pitches and understanding that throwing strikes are the most important thing.

“He has done a good job at the plate for us this year. He has moved into the No. 5 hole in the middle of the season and has done great.

“Dylan has stepped into a leadership role during our summer season playing Legion ball. He has embraced it and the players respond to him.”

Background — Smith started playing baseball when he was 6 years old and looks to continue playing at the next level. He is unsure if he will be a hitter, a pitcher only or will try to do both in college. For the season, he is batting .318 with one home run and a team high 12 RBIs. On the mound, he is 4-2 with a 3.05 ERA in 36 2/3 innings with 44 strikeouts. Smith played basketball his freshman and sophomore seasons at Blackhawk but did not play this past winter so he could work out in an effort to get stronger for baseball. Smith likely will get the start Monday when Blackhawk (8-10) takes on Indiana (10-9) at North Allegheny in the Class 4A quarterfinals.

2024 Trib HSSN Baseball Players of the Week

Week 6: Brock Cornell, West Allegheny

Week 5: A.J. Verdi, Mohawk

Week 4: Jake Robinson, Montour

Week 3: Gio LoNero, Seton LaSalle

Week 2: Tommy Schafale, North Catholic

Week 1: Ryan Petras, Bethel Park


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