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Oswayo Valley’s Black Named District 9 Baseball MVP; Beimel, Bonanno, AJ Meeker Also Honored

SHIPPENVILLE, Pa. – Garren Black was an all-around player pitching and hitting Oswayo Valley to a District 9 Class 1A runner-up finish and the second round of the PIAA playoffs.

(Photo of Oswayo Valley’s Garren Black. Photo by Paul Burdick. Check out more of Burdick’s work here)

And that is the reason Black is the 2018 District 9 MVP as well as the District 9 Offensive Player of the Year. It is the second consecutive year Black has earned the MVP award.

Joining Black in being honored by, are St. Marys’ Nate Beimel as the District 9 Pitcher of the Year and A.J. Meeker as the District 9 Manager of the Year and Redbank Valley’s Kobe Bonanno as the District 9 Rookie of the Year.


MVP/OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Garren Black, Oswayo Valley, Senior

Photo by Paul Burdick

Black, a left-handed pitcher/first baseman, was 7-1 on the mound with a save for the Green Wave while recording a 0.89 ERA. In 39 ⅓ innings of work he struck out 64 and walked just six.

At the plate, Black was a force hitting .563 (27 of 48) with a 1.706 OPS. He hit seven home runs and four doubles while driving in 26 runs and scoring 22. He led the team with 10 walks and struck out just once.

While Black was the MVP last season, this is the first time he has been the Offensive Player of the Year. It marks the second straight year an Oswayo Valley player has earned the award, as Garrett Babcock won it last year.

PITCHER OF THE YEAR: Nate Beimel, St. Marys, Junior

Photo by Jared Bakaysa

Beimel, a left-handed hurler, was nearly untouchable this season.

He was 5-0 on the year with a 0.78 ERA while playing a role in three no-hitters. In 44 ⅔ innings of work, he gave up six runs, five earned, on 11 hits and 27 walks (0.851 WHIP) while striking out 92.

Beimel, who helped lead St. Marys to its first District 9 title (Class 4A) since 2000, also hit .333 with five doubles, four home runs and 22 RBIs.

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR, Kobe Bonanno, Redbank Valley, Freshman

Photo by Mike Maslar

Bonanno burst onto the scene this year for Redbank Valley hitting .403 (21 of 52) with nine doubles, four home runs and a triple while driving in 21 runs.

The second baseman helped the Bulldogs to the District 9 Class 2A semifinals in a year where not a ton was expected for the team.

Bonanno is the second KSAC player to earn the award joining Moniteau’s Jake Jewart, who shared the honors with DCC’s Justin Miknis in 2016.

MANAGER OF THE YEAR: A.J. Meeker, St. Marys

Photo by Jared Bakaysa

Meeker took over the Dutch program this season and led St. Marys to its first District 9 title since 2000 with a win over defending champion Clearfield in the Class 4A title game.

St. Marys lost in the opening round of the PIAA playoffs to eventual state champion, Ringgold, 4-3, but finished the season 15-8 against one of the tougher schedules in District 9.

The D9 championship was only the third baseball title in school history for St. Marys.

Meeker joins his brother Josh (Union girls’ basketball – 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007) as a Coach of the Year honoree.


The Baseball Awards Started in 2016


2018: Garren Black, Sr., Oswayo Valley
2017: Garren Black, Jr., Oswayo Valley
2016: Brandon Matthews, Sr., Punxsutawney

Pitcher of the Year

2018: Nate Beimel, Jr., St. Marys
2017: Reed Anthony, Sr., Clarion
2016: Brandon Matthews, Sr., Punxsutawney

Offensive Player of the Year

2018: Garren Black, Sr., Oswayo Valley
2017: Garrett Babcock, Sr., Oswayo Valley
2016: Jake Miknis, Sr., DuBois Central Catholic

Rookie of the Year

2018: Kobe Bonanno, Fr., Redbank Valley
2017: Aaron Park, Fr., Brookville
2016: Justin Miknis, Fr., DuBois Central Catholic and Jake Jewart, So., Moniteau

Manager of the Year

2018: A.J. Meeker, St. Marys
2017: Rob Jewett, Clarion
2016: Ross Martin, Moniteau

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