Mon Valley natives help small college baseball teams
Local senior Zac Edmiston and juniors Dylan Wassel and Ryan Meier concluded the 2014 baseball season at Bethany (W.Va.) College by earning all-conference honors.
Edmiston and Wassel were second-team selections while Meier earned honorable-mention recognition from the President's Athletic Conference.
A right fielder and southpaw pitcher from California and California High School, Edmiston was selected as a utility player.
On the mound he went 3-2 overall in eight appearances while making six starts. Edmiston had a 3.57 ERA and struck out 23 batters in 23.1 innings pitcher.
At the plate he batted .285 and led the Bison in runs scored (27), triples (4) and RBI (25). He also added one home run and was second on the team in hits (37), walks (16), and stolen bases (3). Edmiston's four triples were third highest among all PAC players.
Defensively Edmiston committed no errors for a perfect .1000 fielding percentage in 65 total chances. He was one of just seven players in the PAC to achieve a perfect fielding percentage in 2014.
Both Wassel and Meier are from Elizabeth and Elizabeth Forward High School.
Wassel, the left fielder, led all Bison hitters with a .328 batting average (38 for 116) and was one of just two players to appear and start in all 37 of the team's games. His 15 doubled led the team and were the second highest total in the conference.
A right-handed pitcher, Meier was Bethany's co-leader in starts with 10 and finished with a 4-4 overall record and 4.76 ERA. He led the pitching staff in complete games (3), shutouts (2), innings pitched (56.2) and strikeouts (26). He was twice named the PAC Pitcher of the Week this past spring.
Under the guidance of 24th-year head coach Rick Carver, Bethany compiled a 19-18 final overall record with a 14-10 third-place conference mark in 2014. The single-season victory total was Bethany's most since 2010 and the Bison qualified for the PAC Tournament for the first time in eight years.
Carson ends college career
California High School graduate Ben Carson concluded his consistent collegiate baseball career at California University of Pennsylvania.
He batted .284 and appeared and started in 44 of the team's 47 games. Carson tied for second on the team in stolen bases (13 for 13) and was third on the team in walks with 17. In the field he made just two errors in 85 total chances and helped the Vulcans achieve four straight winning seasons.
Before this season, Carson started in 99 games over his first three seasons and finishes with 52 career stolen bases, which ranks 12th in school history.
He helped the Vulcans and veteran coach Mike Conte (Brownsville) reach the PSAC playoffs each of his first three seasons.
Two local retired, old-school and straightforward football coaches are among six new inductees to the Tri-County Football Coaches Hall of Fame.
Jim Dumm, who was a head coach at Charleroi and Elizabeth Forward, along with longtime Frazier football leader Tom “Woody” Salisbury, join four other distinguished coaches—Ed Dalton, head coach at McGuffey and former Trinity head coach, Jim Engot, an assistant coach at Bethel Park; Russ Moore, head coach at Waynesburg, and Rich Pavlisko, an assistant coach at Peters Township.
The induction ceremony will take place at halftime of the June 14 BeeGraphix All Star Football Classic at McGuffey's Highlander Stadium, which kicks off at 7 p.m.
The BeeGraphix Football Classic is an invitational football game for high school seniors from Western Pennsylvania.
It was started and is governed by the Tri-County Football Coaches Association. TCFCA is represented by high school football coaches from schools in Allegheny, Fayette, Greene, Washington and Westmoreland counties.
The football game culminates a week of activities that includes a welcome party, daily practices and a banquet the night before the game.
Coaching the South squad at this year's game will be Monessen High School's Andy Pacak. Chartiers-Houston's Terry Fetsko will lead the North.
Bruce Wald is a contributing writer.