ShareThis Page
Latrobe player gets all-star nod |

Latrobe player gets all-star nod

Jason Stewart didn’t make the varsity baseball team at Latrobe High School as a junior this spring.

He spent most of the season playing for the junior varsity, but Stewart made the best of the situation. Now, he’s reaping the benefits.

Stewart will represent the Unity American Legion team at the All-West All-Star Game on July 7 at Butler’s Pullman Park. He will try to advance to the East-West All-Star Game on July 24 and 25 in Harrisburg.

At Wednesday’s tryout at Clearfield, Stewart was one of 19 players selected from Region 6, which comprises Westmoreland, Indiana, Jefferson, Somerset, Cambria, Blair, Bedford, Centre and Clearfield counties.

“Getting picked means a lot,” he said. “College and professional baseball scouts are looking at me. That’s never happened before.”

Stewart, who also wrestles and plays football at Latrobe, got caught in a numbers crunch this season, with eight seniors on the varsity. Stewart did get called up a few times, but playing at the junior-varsity level helped him hone his game.

“My junior-varsity coaches (Matt Musiak and Tom Turnbull) helped me out a lot,” he said. “They taught me a lot of little things, like proper swing mechanics. I’m proving to myself that I can play. I made it through a couple tryouts. I didn’t realize I was that good.”

Unity manager Ed Guzik said Stewart is a special player who does everything he asks. Stewart is batting .444 with eight RBI, two doubles, a triple and a home run.

“There is no quit in Jason,” Guzik said. “He’s the first one at practice and always comes ready to play. He’s involved in the game. He knows game situations, which makes him pretty unique.”

Stewart plays left field, but Guzik recently moved him to center to take advantage of his speed. During the tryouts, he was timed at 6.8 seconds in the 60-yard dash. He also has a strong arm, and Guzik said he puts the ball in play.

“Against Irwin on Thursday, he beat out an infield hit to the pitcher,” Guzik said. “The pitcher took his time, and Jason didn’t give up on the play. …

“His speed has a lot to do with his all-star selection. He’s a quick kid and is smart.”

Stewart said he likes center field because it lets him be in charge.

“I like knowing what’s going on all the time,” he said. “I knew I was quick. I didn’t know I was that quick.”

No matter the scenario, Stewart tries to make the most of it.

“I just like playing,” he said. “I’m just happy I’ve made it this far.”

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.