Blackhawk pitcher Brendan McKay is the 2014 baseball player of the year.
By The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Player of the year: Brendan McKay
Blackhawk * Pitcher/First base * Sr.
McKay is one of the best pitchers in WPIAL history, at least statistically. Had a scoreless streak of 721/3 innings, dating to last season. It tied for the second-longest streak in U.S. high school baseball history. This year, finished 8-1 with 130 strikeouts in 63 innings. Had 0.55 ERA and allowed only 27 hits. Finished career with 30-2 record, 238 innings, 366 strikeouts, 42 walks and 0.53 ERA. Drafted in 34th round by San Diego Padres, but most likely will play at the University of Louisville.
J.J. MATIJEVIC (Norwin, SS, Sr.)
First player known to win WPIAL triple crown. Hit .607 with 10 home runs and 37 RBIs. Hit a home run in six consecutive games. Drafted in 22nd round by the Red Sox, but will probably play at the University of Arizona.
TYLER SMITH (Penn-Trafford, P, Sr.)
A top pitcher and hitter who helped Penn-Trafford to the WPIAL Class AAAA playoffs. Was 6-3 as pitcher with a 1.51 ERA and 78 strikeouts. Also hit .493 with five home runs and 35 RBIs. Will play next season at Canisius.
TAYLOR LEHMAN (Keystone Oaks, P, Sr.)
Was taken in 34th round of the draft by the Miami Marlins, but will probably still attend Penn State. A 6-foot-7 left-hander who was 5-2 with a 1.46 ERA. Struck out 74 in 47 2/3 innings and also had .423 batting average.
TEAGAN PIECHNICK (Canon-McMillan, OF, Sr.)
Piechnick put some bite in the Big Macs' offense. Had 10 consecutive hits at one point this season. He finished with a .522 average and had seven home runs. Also had 26 RBIs and scored 34 runs. Has signed with Rider.
BRANDON DONOVAN (Steel Valley, P, Jr.)
A standout pitcher and hitter who led Ironmen to their first WPIAL baseball title. Was 7-0 with a 1.50 ERA. Gave up only 28 hits and struck out 78 in 46 2/3 innings. Also hit .478 with eight doubles, three triples and 37 RBIs.
JOSH LAPIANA (Chartiers Valley, P/1B, Sr.)
Lapiana was a standout left-handed pitcher and hitter in leading Chartiers Valley to the Class AAA Section 4 title. He hit .486 during the regular season and finished 7-1 as a pitcher with 65 strikeouts. Will play at Akron.
DAANE BEREZO (Pine-Richland, SS, Sr.)
The great Daane for the Rams. A fine defensive player who also was one of the leaders of Pine-Richland's offense. He hit .452 with 22 runs scored and 23 RBIs. Had .603 on-base percentage. Will play next season at Virginia Commonwealth.
COLIN CLAUS (West Allegheny, P, Jr.)
West Allegheny won the WPIAL Class AAA championship and Claus was one of the primary reasons. He had a 9-1 record and a 1.76 ERA. He pitched 67 2/3 innings and allowed only 53 hits and struck out 81.
TOM McCARTHY (Baldwin, 3B, Sr.)
Baldwin made it to a WPIAL title game for the first time in school history and McCarthy played a huge role in the successful season. He hit .515 with nine doubles, 23 RBIs and 11 stolen bases. Will play at Seton Hill.
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