Southmoreland's Villinger, Galley chosen for All-Star baseball event
The Southmoreland baseball team didn't qualify for the playoffs this season, nor did it have a winning record.
But at 8-11, Southmoreland seems to be on the upswing, especially after not winning a game in 2011.
Two of the biggest reasons for Southmoreland's turnaround this season was the play of seniors Coty Villinger and Brandon Galley.
They were chosen to represent the Scotties at the eighth annual WPIAL Baseball Coaches Association All-Star event, which will be at 4 p.m. June 10 at Burkett Field in Robinson Township.
Villinger (38 hits, 28 RBI, .567 average) and Galley (32 hits, 24 RBI, .561) finished fifth and sixth, respectively, among all WPIAL hitters in batting average.
The two-game event will feature the top players from Class AAAA battling the best from Class AAA. The elite from Class AA will face the finest from Class A at 1 p.m. Villinger and Galley will compete for the Class AA team.
“I feel like it is a great honor,” Villinger said. “It will be nice playing in it and seeing some of the top kids from the other teams.”
For Villinger, his selection validated his season.
“In other years, I struggled in the hitting department,” Villinger said. “But after I got some hits (this season), I gained some confidence. Coaching was a big part of it.”
Southmoreland first-year coach Brian Shipley acknowledged that Villinger and Galley each worked hard to be steady producers and both are deserving of the honor.
“It means a lot to have two players representing our school,” Shipley said. “It's outstanding, and it's a great honor for them. They were always on base, and they were always getting hits.
“They will be missed. They were leaders on and off the field.”
Villinger was selected to the event as an outfielder ,while Galley was chosen as an infielder. And while both players were solid defensively, it's hard to ignore their offensive numbers.
“Statistically, there weren't many better offensively,” Shipley said.
Like Villinger, Galley is honored to be a WPIAL All-Star player. He's looking forward to seeing how he measures up against the best.
“I want to see what I'm up against, and it will be fun,” Galley said.
Galley and Villinger have been teammates for a long time, so this honor is a fitting end to their high school careers.
“Coty and I played together since we were 5 or 6 years old,” Galley said. “This shows how hard we worked all the way through.”
While this will be their last time playing at the high school level, the two plan to play baseball in college.
Galley will attend Pitt-Greensburg and also will play soccer. Villinger will play at Westmoreland County Community College.
Jason Black is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-626-3534.