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Plassio enjoys 1st year with Baldwin baseball

Rocky Plassio was a three-sport standout during his heyday as a student-athlete at Norwin.

But of the three — football, basketball and baseball — it’s on the diamond that he has made his athletic mark.

After high school, Plassio played college baseball at Pitt-Greensburg. He was mainly a catcher for the Panthers but also pitched and played outfield.

Plassio, 40, recently completed his first season as coach of the Baldwin baseball program.

“My first year at Baldwin was very rewarding in many aspects,” said Plassio, who eventually transferred to Pitt and graduated from the college of business administration in 2000. “I had the opportunity to coach a lot of fine young men who worked really hard all offseason and during the season, as well.

“These kids battled until the very end, believing in one another and supporting each other along the way.”

Baldwin finished with a winning season in 2017, posting a 9-8 overall record in WPIAL Class 6A. The Highlanders finished in fifth place in Section 3 behind Canon-McMillan, Peters Township, Bethel Park and Mt. Lebanon.

“I feel we took many steps toward beginning to build a more consistent, winning culture and attitude at Baldwin this season,” Plassio said. “But we still have a ways to go in order to reach our goals of becoming a championship caliber baseball program.”

Anthony Rago, a senior pitcher/shortstop, led the Highlanders offensively this season with a .442 batting average and .500 slugging percentage. Rago plans to continue his baseball career at Thiel, where he will major in criminal justice.

“We adjusted well to our new coach,” Rago said. “He is a great guy and really easy to get comfortable with. He really knows what he’s doing, and we can all tell he really enjoys being around the game and loves to coach us. He made us feel like we were one big family.”

Plassio, a 1995 Norwin graduate, was coach of the Washington baseball program for nine years. He had an 87-65 overall record and won four section titles. The Little Prexies qualified for the WPIAL playoffs seven times.

“I still teach at Washington High School but elected to take the coaching position at Baldwin this season, and I’m really glad that I did,” said Plassio, who teaches business education and social studies classes.

Plassio and his wife, Lisa, have been married for 17 years and reside in Bethel Park. Rocky and Lisa have two children, Nolan, 12, and Grace, 9.

“As you could imagine,” Plassio said. “I am heavily involved in coaching them in their respective sports, as well.”

Ray Fisher is a freelance writer.


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