Blackhawk’s Michael Turconi named Trib HSSN Baseball Player of the Year
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Blackhawk, sr., SS/P
Michael Turconi is the latest two-way star for Blackhawk coach Bob Amalia, following in the footsteps of recent MLB first-round draft pick Brendan McKay.
Turconi batted .571 this season with a .691 on-base percentage for the Cougars, who finished 16-2 in WPIAL Class 4A. He had 24 RBIs, but also went 5-1 with two saves and an 0.71 ERA on the mound.
The Wake Forest recruit, who bats left and throws right, struck out 70 in 39 1⁄3 innings.
Turconi is the TribLive High School Sports Network Baseball Player of the Year.
How will you remember this season?
We had a lot of fun, we were a close group of guys, and playing with my close friends was something I’ll always remember. We were definitely disappointed in the loss (in the WPIAL quarterfinals), but we still had a great year. We were undefeated in the section. That was pretty good for us. We’d have liked to have gone farther, but it just wasn’t meant to be, I guess.
What’s your favorite high school memory?
Definitely winning the WPIAL championship last year. I was on the mound for the last three outs of the game, and I just remember us making the last out and then the dogpile at the end.
Were you at the very bottom of the pile?
Yes, I was.
Can you explain how that feels?
It was great but it kind of hurt. I’m not going to lie. Everybody is on top of you.
What’s Blackhawk’s secret for producing two-way stars?
We have great coaches, and they talk a lot about how you have to really like the game in order to play. They really make the game enjoyable.
Might you be a two-way player at Wake Forest?
Playing the field is my future, but if they give me a chance to pitch, I definitely won’t turn it down.
What did you like most about Wake Forest?
Their coaches, definitely. They have a great coaching staff. It will be great playing for them, and I think they’ll be able to develop me well and hopefully get to the next level.
What other schools did you consider?
My final three were Wake, Kentucky and Louisville.
What other sports did you play as a kid?
Growing up I played hockey, basketball, soccer, golf. I pretty much played them all, but going into high school I just stuck to baseball.
Did you have a favorite player growing up?
Probably Derek Jeter. Just the way he played the game.
Do you play shortstop like Jeter?
I don’t know, that’s a pretty tough comparison there: the best shortstop ever to play.
What are your summer plans?
Actually, I leave in a week for summer school at Wake. That’s pretty much my plan. I’ll go down there, work out and take some classes. I’m down there for about five weeks.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully, playing in a professional league somewhere. Maybe not the majors, but hopefully in a minor league system.
Is there an impact seeing other Blackhawk graduates go on to play professional ball?
It makes you realize that anything is possible. Blackhawk’s not really (in) a huge town. People can come out of there, make a name for themselves and go big time. I think it makes you have a little more motivation and drive toward your goal.
TRIB 10 SELECTIONS
Mars, jr., P/1B
The hard-throwing right-hander has a fastball that sits in the low-90s, making him a likely candidate for next year’s Major League Baseball draft. The Ohio State recruit went 8-0 with a 0.64 ERA. Bednar struck out 120 and walked only 11 in 66 innings for the WPIAL Class 5A runners-up.
Serra Catholic, so., C
The St. John’s commit batted .614, with 48 RBIs and 37 runs scored for the high-scoring WPIAL Class 2A runners-up. Twenty of his 43 hits earned extra bases with six home runs, five triples and nine doubles. Black also guided a pitching staff that finished with a team ERA of 0.95.
Vincentian Academy, sr., SS
Fedko helped the Royals win their first WPIAL Class A championship and their second PIAA title in three years. The UConn recruit batted .661, with 14 doubles, five triples, eight homers, 46 runs and 40 RBIs. He struck out only four times all season in 84 plate appearances.
West Allegheny, so., OF/P
Hendrick was ranked as the top sophomore in the country by Perfect Game, a scouting website. The Mississippi State commit was a two-way standout for the PIAA Class 5A semifinalist. He batted .438 with a .603 on-base percentage, 26 runs and 16 RBIs. The lefty posted a 1.44 ERA on the mound and 38 strikeouts in 24 1⁄3 innings.
Central Catholic, sr., P
McGraw was instrumental in Central Catholic winning Section 1-6A and earning the No. 1 seed in the WPIAL playoffs. The right-hander accounted for 10 of his team’s 15 wins, including a no-hitter in the quarterfinals. The Seton Hill recruit pitched 54 1⁄3 innings and struck out 49.
Bethel Park, sr., P/SS
The right-hander helped Bethel Park win the Section 3-6A title despite sharing the section with WPIAL and PIAA champion Canon-McMillan. Meis, an Eastern Michigan recruit, went 5-2 with a 1.40 ERA. He struck out 58 and walked only eight in 45 innings. Opponents batted just .218 against him.
Butler, sr., SS/P
Against Class 6A competition, Ollio was one of the best two-way players in the WPIAL. The North Carolina recruit batted .370 and went 3-1 with a 2.05 ERA. The right-hander struck out 46 batters in 27 1⁄3 innings as Butler finished second to Central Catholic in Section 1.
Canon-McMillan, sr., P
Rohaley was the winning pitcher in both the WPIAL and PIAA Class 6A championships. The right-hander went 14-1 with an 0.81 ERA and 104 strikeouts in 87 innings. The Wheeling Jesuit recruit finished 21-1 in the past two seasons and graduates with more than 30 career wins.
Ringgold, sr., 3B/P
The Alderson Broaddus commit was a catalyst for Ringgold’s unexpected run to its first state title in team history. Varley batted .408 with 23 runs, 19 RBIs and 14 stolen bases for the PIAA Class 4A champion. The right-hander also went 6-1 with a 1.02 ERA and 65 strikeouts in 48 innings.