Hendricks sparks Quaker Valley baseball early on
It has been three straight seasons the Quaker Valley baseball team has claimed the Section 1-AA title, qualified for the WPIAL playoffs and advanced to the PIAA tournament.
In order for the Quakers (3-0, 2-0) to extend each of those streaks to four consecutive seasons, they will need more performances like the dominant outing turned in by Jack Hendricks against section foe Burgettstown.
In the team’s first section tilt of the season, Hendricks earned the win after striking out seven Blue Devils in three scoreless innings.
“We’re still very, very early in the season,” Quaker Valley coach Dave Bogats said.
“But he’s definitely right there at the top end of the rotation for us, with John Medich and Peyton Russoniello. We’re going to need a lot of arms this season, there’s no question about it.”
Hendricks, who plays shortstop for the Quakers when he is not on the rubber, credits his catcher and coaching staff for his early-season success.
“We have a really good catcher, John Medich, and he’s been great behind the plate. We also have a new coach, Coach Fanase, he pitched at Penn State-Fayette for four years, and he’s really been helping me out,” Hendricks said.
“Coach Fanase has been working with us a lot. He taught me a slider that’s really been one of my go-to pitches so far.”
According to Bogats, the combination of Hendricks, Medich and Russoniello at the top of the Quakers’ pitching rotation could be a strength the defending section champs may lean on this season.
In the win against Burgettstown, Hendricks’ impact was not limited to just his work on the mound. Hitting from the second spot in the batting order, the junior went 2 for 2 and roped two doubles on his way to driving in four runs. In total, Hendricks has collected six RBIs in three games.
“He’s got a good eye and he has good patience at the plate, and he knows what pitches he wants to attack. He’s got a good formula for success at the plate,” Bogats said of Hendricks.
“He’s very strong and if the pitcher makes a mistake, he’s going to make him pay for it. He hit the ball very hard on those two doubles in that Burgettstown game, and he drove in runs in the 2-hole when we needed it early in the game.”
Kevin Lohman is a freelance writer.