Trib HSSN Baseball Player of the Week
By: Don Rebel
Saturday, June 1, 2019 | 9:55 PM
The Trib HSSN Baseball Player of the Week is Seton LaSalle junior Daniel Boehme, who put together one of the best offensive performances in WPIAL championship history.
Seton LaSalle and Serra Catholic met for the third time this season in the Class 2A final, but the rubber game turned into a personal showcase for Boehme.
He went 5 for 5 with four runs and four RBIs, and he hit for the cycle with two triples and getting a home run in his final at-bat.
“It’s still hard to believe because it’s been over-shadowed by the feeling of winning the championship with my team,” Boehme said. “When I got interviewed, it hit me that I had done something special, but without my teammates, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to get the chance to perform.”
The Rebels cruised to an 11-2 victory over the Eagles to win the school’s second WPIAL baseball championship. The first came in 1995.
“It was an awesome feeling knowing that all the work we’ve put in since the winter was worth it,” Boehme said. “Since Day 1, we knew this was the goal. Of course, we took it one game at a time, but this game was always in the back of our minds and the feeling is like a dream.”
Boehme was 4 for 4 when he stepped to the plate in the top of the seventh inning. Did he realize he needed a home run to hit for the cycle?
“Honestly, I did not and thank God for that because I probably would have been swinging out of my shoes,” he said. “I changed my mentality this season to see the ball and square it up. It made me a much more consistent hitter, and that was my mentality in the last at-bat: See it, hit it.”
Hit it he did as his two-run homer completed the scoring and wrapped up a wild day at Wild Things Park.
Perhaps the win helped exorcize some demons for both Seton LaSalle fans and the Boehme household.
Daniel’s older brother Dave was a senior on the last Seton LaSalle team to reach the finals. The Rebels led 5-3 in the bottom of the seventh in the 2014 Class AA finals when Steel Valley rallied for three unearned runs to win 6-5.
“I remember the game but don’t talk about it very much because I know it’s a little bit of a sore subject,” Boehme said. “My brother has been a role model for me my whole life in sports and in life. Leading up to this game, he didn’t make it about him and getting revenge or anything, he just wanted to see me and the team do well.”
Boehme proved he was not superstitious when he made his choice of foot wear for the big game.
“I needed a pair of molded cleats that fit me since the Wild Things stadium does not allow metal (cleats). I decided to wear the cleats he wore in his WPIAL championship game. I guess they brought me good luck.”
Matt Wood, Pine-Richland
Senior Matt Wood was a force at the plate and behind the plate as Pine-Richland beat Penn-Trafford, 7-2, in the Class 6A championship game. Wood was 2 for 2 with a triple, a run and two RBIs. He also walked three times. The Penn State recruit was 2 for 2 in throwing out baserunners who tried to steal second base.
Nick Rispoli, Shaler
Junior Nick Rispoli helped save the day for Shaler. Rispoli came in to pitch in the third inning with the Titans trialing Laurel Highlands in the Class 5A title game and was lights out. He pitched 4 1/3 innings, allowing no runs, no hits and striking out eight while delivering an RBI triple in an 8-1 triumph for Shaler.
Brady Miller, Steel Valley
Senior Brady Miller was a driving force in another comeback title win for Steel Valley. On offense, Miller was 2 for 2 with three walks and scored the tying run to cap off a three-run rally in the seventh for the Ironmen. On defense, he threw out three would-be basestealers, then was the middle man in a huge 1-2-3 double play that kept Steel Valley alive in what was a 5-4 win in 8 innings over Hopewell.
Previous Trib HSSN Baseball Players of the Week:
This Week’s Trib HSSN Team of the Week: Shaler Titans
Don Rebel hosts the Rebel Yell podcasts for HSSN.