Westmoreland County high school notebook: Hempfield senior to play ball at Youngstown State

Tuesday, December 7, 2021 | 6:53 PM

Some people consider Aiden Dunlap a hockey player who also plays baseball — in a Happy Gilmore kind of way.

It is quite the contrary, apparently.

The Hempfield senior is a baseball player first, hockey player second. At least according to his college decision.

Dunlap, a middle infielder with smarts, announced recently he will continue his playing career at the Division I level at Youngstown State.

Dunlap narrowed his choices to Youngstown and Division II Mercyhurst.

“I went on several visits and had multiple offers,” Dunlap said. “It was a very tough decision for me. One of the bigger factors in picking YSU was I’m interested in majoring in information technology. YSU’s School of Information and Engineering Technology lined up a little better with my major.”

Dunlap made an impact at second base last season for Hempfield, which reached the WPIAL Class 6A championship game.

After missing his sophomore season in 2020 because of the pandemic, he came back from a broken wrist and gradually worked his way back into the batting order late last year. He had surgery in March.

Showcases and tournament ball gave YSU an outlet to see Dunlap play second base and shortstop. And, the outfield?

“One of the tournaments I played mostly center field,” he said. “So they liked that I can play either middle position and the outfield.”

Dunlap (5-10, 175) plays his summer ball for Team All-American.

“I’m really looking forward to be able to play a full high school season again this year,” Dunlap said.


Belle Vernon sophomore football player Quinton Martin now has eight Power 5 scholarship offers — three from the Big Ten — after Wisconsin joined his growing list of suitors.

Syracuse also offered last week.

Martin, a 6-foot-3, 195-pound running back and defensive back, helped lead Belle Vernon (10-1) to a runner-up finish in WPIAL Class 4A. He only played eight games due to an injury but rushed for 902 yards and 12 touchdowns, averaging 112.8 yards per game.

He also caught 10 passes for 164 yards and two scores and had 18 tackles and an interception on defense.

His other offers are from Pitt, West Virginia, Penn State, Rutgers, Virginia Tech and Maryland.

Wisconsin already has landed Penn-Trafford standout running back and defensive back Cade Yacamelli. Imagine Yacamelli and Martin in the same backfield or defensive secondary a few years down the road. The Badgers wouldn’t mind it.

More recruiting buzz

Another Hempfield senior, Jake Kramer, committed to play baseball at Cal (Pa.). Kramer is a right-handed pitcher and third baseman. Kramer (6-2, 210) also is rostered with Team All-American.

Hempfield senior pitcher/infielder Noah Zadroga will play at Pitt-Johnstown.

• Belle Vernon senior Aidan Ochs will play baseball at Thiel. A middle infielder, Ochs is the third Belle Vernon player to commit in the last several weeks, joining Andrew Sokol (Potomac State) and Matt Bamford (Marietta).

Yough football player Tristan Waldier, a 6-foot-2, 203-pound all-conference linebacker, picked up an offer from West Liberty.

• Another Belle Vernon athlete made a recent commitment for softball. Ashley Joll will play at Potomac State. Joll is a run-producing shortstop for the Leopards.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.

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