Trib HSSN Baseball Player of the Week: Week ending June 12, 2022

Sunday, June 12, 2022 | 6:14 PM

The calendar has turned to June.

It’s time for the Black Hawks to stretch their wings and fly high across the state, gathering baseball victories in their travels.

A year after losing a heartbreaker in the WPIAL title game, only to regroup and go on to win a PIAA championship, the Bethel Park baseball team is at it again.

This season, they lost to West Allegheny in the Class 5A district semifinals but won the consolation game and have two state playoff wins under their belt.

“We were all very disappointed to lose in the WPIAL semifinal this year,” Bethel Park second-year coach Patrick Zehnder said. “The guys wanted a shot at winning the WPIAL title this year but ran into a great team in West Allegheny. In a testament to the players’ maturity, they were able to bounce back from that with some good practices and were ready to make another run in the state playoffs. We are very excited to have the opportunity to still play and interact with each other this late in the season and can’t wait to continue the climb.”

On a sled with plenty of young pups contributing to the Black Hawks’ success, senior Cody Geddes is one of the lead dogs.

In the opening round Monday, Gedes was 2-for-4 at the plate with a double and an RBI. He scored the tiebreaking run on a wild pitch in the top of the seventh inning as Bethel Park beat District 6 champion Central Mountain, 4-3.

“Cody is such a great athlete and does so many things for us,” Zehnder said. “He is one of the most competitive guys around and is able to elevate his already-great game in the biggest moments. He had an RBI single in the 1st inning, which helped us put a crooked number on the board right away. In the seventh, he crushed a ball to right field off of the wall with a hard wind blowing in for a double, and (he) scored the go-ahead run four batters later.”

Geddes came in to pitch in the top of the sixth inning with Wildcats runners at first and second base with one out. Central Mountain had tied the score the inning before and were threatening to take the lead. He got the first batter he faced to fly out on his first pitch and struck the next batter out to end the threat.

He pitched a 1-2-3 inning against Central Mountain’s 3-4-5 hitters to close out the game and pick up the win.

“He has such a knack for getting big outs,” Zehnder said. “He also did it in the state playoff run last year.”

In the rematch against West Allegheny in the quarterfinals Thursday, Geddes helped get the ball rolling for Bethel Park with an RBI single in the first inning. Evan Holewinski was lights out from there on the mound for the Black Hawks, limiting the WPIAL champion Indians to four hits in a 7-0 victory.

“It was fun to watch the guys show that kind of effort Thursday,” Zehnder said. “West Allegheny is a model baseball program, and I have so much respect for Bryan Cornell, his program and the great kids over there. They play the right way and got us in the WPIAL semis, so we were excited to get another chance to play them.

“It was a total team win, which is great to have, especially in the playoffs. Everyone in the lineup had good at-bats and found ways to either get a hit or productive at-bat when we needed it.”

Geddes plans to play baseball next spring at Penn State Greater Allegheny, working on all aspects of his game that have played a big part in the Bethel Park success the last two seasons.

“Cody is an extremely good defender and would be a middle infielder on many other teams,” Zehnder said. “He has a great sense of when to attack the ball, and his strong and accurate arm allows him to make plays that not many other players can make. At the plate, he has a violent swing but also a great approach that allows him to hit any pitch in any count. He is always ready to do damage and, again, seemingly raises his already-high level of play even more when we need him the most.”

Up next for Bethel Park is a trip to Mount Aloysius College on Monday to face Donegal out of District 3.

“They seem to be a well-coached team that takes advantage of opportunities to score runs, whether hitting with two outs or capitalizing on opponents’ mistakes,” Zehnder said. “They are aggressive on the basepaths and play great defense. If you are one of the final four teams still playing, you also have some serious studs on the mound and at the plate to be accounted for.”

2022 Trib HSSN Baseball Players of the Week:

Week 9 – Drew Lafferty, South Park

Week 8 – Mason Sike, Montour

Week 7 – J.C. Voss, Mohawk

Week 6 – Angelo DeLeonardis, Knoch

Week 5 – Dylan Grabowski, Penn-Trafford

Week 4 – Cam Marshalwitz, Hampton

Week 3 – Wes Parker, Peters Township

Week 2 – Gavin Homer, Indiana

Week 1 – Jake Kendro, Norwin


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