CLARION, Pa. – The numbers John Matthews put up on the mound and at the plate would be considered great if it was a video game let alone real life.
(Cover photo of John Matthews by Paul Burdick view more of Burdick’s work here)
That is why the Punxsutawney senior righthander is the inaugural D9Sports.com District 9 Most Valuable Player and Pitcher of the Year.
Joining Matthews in being honored by the website, which just concluded its 16th season of covering athletics in the PIAA District 9, is the DuBois Central Catholic brother tandem of senior Jake Miknis and freshman Justin Miknis and the Moniteau player-coach duo of sophomore Jake Jewart and manager Ross Martin.
Jake Miknis is the Offensive Player of the Year, while Justin Miknis and Jewart are Co-Rookies of the Year and Martin is Manager of the Year.
Matthews was incredible for the Chucks helping Punxsutawney to a 13th straight District 9 Class AAA
title and the second round of the PIAA playoffs with both his arm and his bat.
In nine appearances on the mound, he was 7-0 with a 0.65 ERA and a 0.80 WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched). In 54 innings of work, he struck out 69, walked 13 and hit 15 batters while allowing just 30 hits, 11 runs and five earned runs. He had four complete-game wins and two shutouts.
At the plate, Matthews was just as dangerous hitting .467 (28 of 60) with five double and a triple while driving in 24 and scoring 11 times. He had an on-base percentage of 0.539 and an on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) of 1.122. He also stole four bases in seven tries.
Jake Miknis was a beast at the plate for the District 9 Class A champion Cardinals hitting
.483 (29 of 60) with four doubles, four home runs and a triple. He scored 23 runs and had 21 RBIs while getting on-base at a 61 percent clip. His OPS was 1.393.
Justin Miknis, a freshman catcher, hit .394 (28 of 71) for DCC with seven doubles, 11 RBIs and 20 runs scored while putting together and OPS of .970.
Jewart, who saw limited action as a freshman with six at-bats, had a breakout sophomore campaign that saw him hit .345 (19 of 55) with five doubles, two triples, 23 runs scored and 15 RBIs for the District 9 Class AA champion Moniteau Warriors. He got on base at a 51.3 percent clip and had an OPS of 1.022. A prolific base stealer as well, Jewart swiped 18 bases in 19 tries.
Martin led Moniteau to its first District 9 Class AA baseball title with a 17-4 record that included the school’s first-ever PIAA baseball victory, 5-3, over Girard.
The Warriors were 16-2 vs. District 9 competition including three wins over arch-rival Karns City with one of those being a 6-2 victory in the District 9 Class AA title game.