Trib HSSN Baseball Player of the Week: Week ending June 19, 2022

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Sunday, June 19, 2022 | 8:26 PM


When it comes to bright lights on the big stage, Bethel Park junior Evan Holewinski doesn’t crave the spotlight, he just wants his toe on the rubber in the big game.

While the right-handed pitcher has been strong when he heads to the mound, he was especially sharp the past two postseasons, particularly in the PIAA playoffs.

“Unflappable is a perfect word to describe Evan,” Bethel Park coach Patrick Zehnder said. “He is so mature and mentally tough. He has all the tools physically and mentally that you could wish for in a great player and leader. Nothing going on around him affects what he does. He has a laser focus on his current objective, whatever that is. Evan is a special guy.”

Holewinski helped get the Black Hawks into the final four of the PIAA Class 5A playoffs with a gem against WPIAL champion West Allegheny. He scattered four hits and struck out three in a 7-0 BP win in the quarterfinals.

In the state semifinals, Holewinski helped his team with his bat, delivering a two-run double in Bethel Park’s 8-5 win over Donegal.

“His double against a great Donegal team again showed he can produce in many ways in big moments in big games,” Zehnder said. “He has a mature approach at the plate and always seems to find a way to have a productive at-bat. Whether driving balls to the opposite field gap, crushing a ball over the left-field wall, or advancing runners with productive outs. He is also one of our best defensive players at pretty much any position.”

Eight days after his gem against West Allegheny, Holewinski was even better as Bethel Park faced District 4 champion Selinsgrove in the 5A finals at Penn State.

“Evan was masterful in the championship, as he has been his entire career,” Zehnder said. “He continued to pound the strike zone with all of his pitches and continually was ahead of batters in the count, forcing them to swing at his pitches and inducing weak contact. The defense continued to play extremely well behind him, which is also a credit to Evan’s efficiency and trust in his team around him.”

Zehnder was asked to compare Holewinski’s final two games of his junior season in which he shut down two district champions in 14 innings while allowing only seven hits combined.

“I think the two outings were very similar. Both teams have great hitters, and Evan was able to keep them off balance and was extremely efficient. I believe in those two complete games combined, he threw less than 150 pitches.”

There is always room to improve, even if your career ERA is 0.55 at the high school level. Zehnder looks forward to the process of watching his young pitching phenom get even better for his senior season in 2023.

“Evan will continue to build his strength to gain velocity and effectiveness for all his pitches,” Zehnder said. “He also works hard on mechanics and a feel for all of his pitches to continue to build his already great command. He works so hard all the time, and it’s great to see him maintaining such success.”

For now, Holewinski and his Bethel Park teammates can soak in the glory of a second straight state championship, only the third WPIAL school to win consecutive baseball titles, joining Moon (2001, ‘02) and Riverside twice (‘05, ‘06, ‘11, ‘12).

“I am so proud of this group of players, and thankful to be able to work with them and such great coaches,” Zehnder said. “Coach Jared King and Tyler Dillinger have been an extremely important part of the team’s success this year. Coach Kyle Nicholson and Joe Ranalli’s impact last year and years prior helped build these players into who they are today, and taught me so much as well. The program Tony Fisher built before us paved the way for the current success.

“The seniors, Bo Conrad, Cody Geddes, Will Sokira, Dylan Schmude, Ben Hudson, and David Kessler deserved nothing less than to end their high school careers with a win on the biggest stage, and I am forever grateful for their leadership and impact they will have on this team for years to come.”

2022 Trib HSSN Baseball Players of the Week

Week 10 – Cody Geddes, Bethel Park

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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