Ford City's Retzer named Leader Times baseball player of the year
By Matt Grubba
Published: Friday, July 5, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
FORD CITY, SENIOR, PITCHER/SHORTSTOP
If proof was needed that wins aren't the best measure of a pitcher's performance, look no further than Ford City's Justin Retzer.
Retzer was the Sabers' ace on the mound and though his record was just 2-3, that hardly reflects the throwing of a pitcher with a sub-2.00 ERA and 56 strikeouts in 371⁄3 innings this season.
When he wasn't pitching, Retzer would move to shortstop and maintain his No. 3 spot in the Ford City lineup. He finished the year with a .533 batting average, 19 RBI and two home runs — all team bests — and his 15 runs scored was second for the Sabers.
For his all-around contributions to a winning season at Ford City, Retzer is the 2013 Leader Times Baseball Player of the Year.
“Personally, I'm really happy with the year I had, but with the team, it would've been really nice to make the playoffs,” Retzer said. “I hit my spots and had my best year pitching the ball.”
Retzer, who will pitch in college at West Liberty, got the call in almost all of Ford City's big games this season, and he nearly led the team to the WPIAL playoffs, which it missed on a tiebreaker with Burrell.
From a shutdown performance in the Sabers' section opener against Freeport — a 2-1 Ford City win — to hard-luck, 3-2 losses against Burrell and Deer Lakes, Retzer being on the hill meant Ford City had a shot to win. The senior embraced the role of the go-to starter and often had his best games against the toughest teams.
“When I pitched against Freeport and struck out 16 guys, that was one of the big highlights of my year,” Retzer said. “I love when I have the pressure in those big games. I feel like (my record) might have been much better if we got one or two more hits when we needed them. A lot of those games were close, but we didn't score enough runs.”
Retzer also had some big moments at the plate this season, including one of his two home runs coming at spacious Pullman Park in Butler. That and a sophomore-year grand slam against West Shamokin are two career highlights, Retzer said, but he was most pleased whenever he could make a play that helped the Sabers get a win.
“Hitting or pitching, they were both equal to me. I just wanted to do whatever I had to to help the team,” he said. “If I needed to strike someone out, or if I needed a big hit to get on base, I just liked helping the team win.”
Apollo-Ridge, Sr., C
A speedy player behind the plate, Baylor led the Vikings with a .382 average, 26 hits, 14 runs scored and seven stolen bases.
Ford City, So., 3B
Bower came into his own as a clean-up hitter this year with a .462 average, a .563 on-base percentage and 11 RBI.
Leechburg, Sr., IF/P
In a tough year for the Blue Devils, Dubovi led the way at the plate with a .424 average and eight RBI while also sharing pitching duties.
Kittanning, So., IF
Keibler's .385 average, .415 on-base percentage and nine RBI all led the Wildcats this season.
Karns City, Jr., P/SS
Kepple had a 2.85 ERA and went 7-1, with the only loss coming in the state playoffs against Beaver. He also had three homers, 15 RBI and 22 steals.
Freeport, Sr., IF/P
Miller's .543 average was best in the coverage area, and the all-around contributor also scored 15 runs and threw 221⁄3 innings, many in relief.
West Shamokin, Sr., P/SS
A .610 on-base percentage and a .500 batting average both led the Wolves, as did Rocco's 52 strikeouts in 292⁄3 innings pitched.
Freeport, Jr., C
Swartz caught a Freeport staff that had a team ERA of 2.85, while he had 16 RBI and drew a team-high 10 walks for a .561 on-base percentage.
Karns City, Jr., C
Weckerly led the Gremlins by batting .500, and he also had 17 RBI and 21 steals for the District 9-AA champs.
Blake Davis Kittanning, Sr., C
Nick Ganter Karns City, Sr., OF
Mitch Johnston Apollo-Ridge, Jr., OF/P
Dustin Koedel Freeport, Sr., OF
Dave Lattanzio Ford City, Sr., CF
Luke Mariotti Freeport, Sr., P/IF
Ashton McGinnis Ford City, Jr., P
Luke Negley Freeport, Sr., OF
Jared Ravotti Leechburg, Sr., CF
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- District plans to make good use of state rankings
- Search continues for man in beating case
- Springdale in ‘dire’ financial situation, postpones decision on budget
- Penguins’ youngsters Samuelsson, Despres show lots of promise
- Leechburg approves $1.78 million budget with no tax increase
- KLT high school roundup: West Shamokin wins in rout
- Coal Center man dead in Chartiers SUV crash
- Steelers’ Brown maturing into elite wide receiver
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin doesn’t regret picking Bell instead of Lacy
- Feds fight former Plum residents regarding alleged drug proceeds
- Steelers face decision on Woodley’s future