Pittsburgh Trib athletes of the week: Beaver's Nick Hineman, Canon-McMillan's Alayna Astuto
Claim to fame: Hineman went 2 for 4 with a game-tying, two-out single in the top of seventh in an eventual 5-4 loss to Loyalsock in the PIAA Class AA title game June 14. He went 2 for 3 with two RBI and two runs in Beaver's 10-0 first-round win in the PIAA playoffs over Karns City and went 1 for 1 with two RBI in a 7-1 win over Quaker Valley in the WPIAL Finals. This season, Hineman batted .512 with 10 RBI.
Despite losing in the state title game, how good did it feel to make it that far?
It's pretty cool. It's something we hadn't done in 30 years. It'd have been nice to win it, but it was nice to get that far.
What was going through your mind when your team showed signs of a late rally?
I just thought when I got that hit we wouldn't lose the game. The way we were fighting back, I thought we were going to win. It just didn't work out in the end.
What are your plans after high school?
I'm going to Marietta to play football.
What major are you going to pursue?
Petroleum engineering. There are nice signing bonuses and salaries coming out college. It sounds like it'll be a lot of fun work, too.
What moment stands out in your high school career?
I'd have to say getting that hit to extend the game in the state championship. Last year, I made the last out of the season, so it was nice to get even this year.
Claim to fame: Astuto carried a no-hitter through eight innings and helped the Big Macs beat District 1 champion Neshaminy, 4-3, in 12 innings in the PIAA Class AAAA final at Penn State June 14. She struck out 18 in the complete game and her shutout bid became a victim of the international tiebreaker rule which starts a runner on second base beginning in the 10th inning. Astuto tossed a four-hitter with seven strikeouts and no walks in a 5-2 win over North Allegheny in the WPIAL title game May 29.
How draining is it to pitch a 12-inning game, especially in the championship?
It was very draining. You kind of just get better as the season goes on.
What will you remember most about this year's state title run?
I'll definitely remember the finals because it went so many innings. It was my career-high in strikeouts, too. I'll never forget the whole trip up to Penn State.
What are your college plans?
I'm going to Waynesburg to play softball.
How are you going to prepare yourself for college?
I'm definitely going to work on my pitches and improve them a little more. I'd like to get my speed up a little bit to have more of an advantage. I also want to work out more and get in better shape.
Do you have a major selected?
I'm going to major in nursing.