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Franklin Regional's McGrath named Class AAAA Player of the Year

Matt Grubba | Murrysville Star
Franklin Regional senior Danny McGrath (left) takes a lead off second base during the Panthers' game against Knoch on April 4, 2013, at Haymaker Park in Murrysville.

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Danny McGrath needed to take a moment to reflect when he learned he was voted the WPIAL Class AAAA Player of the Year earlier this month.

Turns out he was in the right place for it.

“I think I was actually up at the Relay For Life in Murrysville (on May 18),” McGrath said. “I was sitting on the steps, and I had to take a second to take it in once I found out.”

Class AAAA coaches voted McGrath as Player of the Year after a senior season in which he batted .533 for the Panthers (16-4), who finished in second place in Section 3-AAAA. The .533 average was the best among Class AAAA players this season.

In addition to the high batting average, McGrath finished with 23 runs batted in, 30 runs scored and 10 stolen bases as Franklin Regional's leadoff hitter.

Still, the recognition came as a surprise.

“I knew I was having a pretty good year, but I didn't know how good anybody else was doing (on) schools that we hadn't played,” he said.

McGrath was one of two local players to be honored by Class AAAA coaches, as Penn-Trafford pitcher Tyler Smith was voted Pitcher of the Year.

McGrath said he plans to play baseball this summer for the Allegheny Tigers of the Western Pennsylvania Elite Baseball League. He committed to play next season at California University of Pennsylvania, though he said some other colleges had contacted him after he won Player of the Year.

“I think I'm definitely still leaning towards Cal,” McGrath said. “They've always been there, since last year. I love the campus and love their program down there.

“I'd have to get a pretty good offer, good interest from another school, to change my mind.”

Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5830 or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.

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