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Greensburg Tribune-Review athletes of the week: Penn-Trafford's Tyler Smith, Greensburg Salem's Taylor Mehan

Submitted - Greensburg Salem softball player Taylor Mehan.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Greensburg Salem softball player Taylor Mehan.
Submitted - Penn-Trafford baseball player Tyler Smith
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Penn-Trafford baseball player Tyler Smith

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Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Andrew John
Wednesday, April 24, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

Tyler Smith

School: Penn-Trafford

Year: Junior

Sport: Baseball

Claim to fame: Smith, who is 3-1 with a 1.36 ERA in 20 innings with 31 strikeouts and 11 walks, went 3 for 3, including a double, with three RBI. He struck out 10 to earn the win as Penn-Trafford (6-4, 4-2) beat Norwin, 7-0, in Section 2-AAAA play Thursday. Smith is hitting .333 with two home runs.

“The season as a whole, I haven't performed as well as I wanted,” Smith said. “The team and I had a phenomenal game as a team against Norwin. No one puts out seven runs like that. Hats off to them. The season is starting to turn around.”

What was the turning point for you getting on track this season?

I just had to make an adjustment in my swing. I had a minor thing with my loading. It was affecting me.

What were your goals this season?

I wanted to get my average above .500 and keep my ERA under 1.00. As a team, we want to go deep into the playoffs.

What does the team need to do to make a deep run into the playoffs?

We've got to keep it up. Keep hitting solid. The last couple of games have shown it, and if we keep it up, we will be contenders.

Which MLB player do you look up too?

One of the guys I look up to is Dustin Pedroia. He's the definition of what a baseball player shouldn't be (size-wise). But he's great at batting and fielding.

Taylor Mehan

School: Greensburg Salem

Year: Senior

Sport: Softball

Claim to fame: The Greensburg Salem catcher homered and had five RBI as No. 1 Greensburg Salem (9-1, 8-0) beat Albert Gallatin, 15-0, in Section 4-AAA play Thursday.

What are your plans for college next season?

I'm looking at St. Vincent and Waynesburg to play softball and major in Spanish education. Throughout school, I never had a favorite class besides Spanish. I'm leaning toward St. Vincent, which has a better Spanish education (course).

What do you think the team needs to do to go deep in the playoffs?

I would say we need to keep our bats going. We need to trust (pitcher) Jayne Oberdorf and keep are bats going.

What would it mean to finish your career with a WPIAL title?

We have been working toward that our four years. It was an upset last year when we lost. We wanted to go further. It would mean everything to me if we won the WPIAL title. There wouldn't be any other way to end my senior year.

— Andrew John

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