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Dawson Smail’s Monster Season for Clarion Earns Him KSAC Baseball MVP Honor

CLARION, Pa. (EYT/D9) — Individual awards are all well and good for Dawson Smail.

But the senior shortstop on the Clarion baseball team would much rather have more bling around his neck in the form of another state title.

Smail appreciates being named Keystone Shortway Athletic Conference MVP, but he has bigger goals in mind.

“It’s nice, but I want that state championship medal again,” Smail said. “I want that gold medal.”

(Pictured above, Dawson Smail/Photo by Aryana Girvan)

Smail has been a mainstay at the top of the Bobcats’ lineup for four years. A Xavier recruit for baseball, Smail is batting .516 with three home runs, eight doubles, 19 RBIs and 31 runs scored in 18 games this season for 16-1 Clarion (a game against DuBois Central Catholic was suspended in the top of the eighth inning tied at 3-3 and will not be resumed).

Smail has also swiped 13 bases and has walked 11 times to just two strikeouts in 74 plate appearances.

In his career, he’s hit .492 with seven home runs, 48 doubles, 78 RBIs and 132 runs scored in 80 games. In 326 plate appearances, he’s drawn 47 walks and struck out just 25 times.

“It’s great because behind me are the best hitters in the league,” Smail said. “I mean with Bryce (Brinkley), Noah (Harrison), Derek (Smail), Devin (Lauer), Tanner (Miller), Matt (Alston), Dauntae (Girvan), Wyatt Waterson and Hayden Weber, I mean, they’re gonna manufacture runs and get on base any way they can.”

Most of those names Smail rattled off made the all-KSAC team.

His brother, Derek Smail, was a first-team selection at first base and also made the second team as a pitcher. Girvan made the first team as a designated hitter.

Smail said he worked this offseason on readying himself to face top-line pitching.

Clarion certainly had a target on its backs this season after storming its way to the PIAA Class A championship last spring with a prodigious postseason streak.

“I was getting ready for that pitching because we typically see everybody’s No.1 guy,” Smail said. “You know, it doesn’t faze us anymore. Whoever they throw against us, it doesn’t affect us, no matter how hard they throw or what offspeed stuff they throw. We’re ready for it.”

That has certainly shown on the stat sheet.

Clarion is batting a robust .366 as a team. The patience and contact shown at the plate mirrors what Smail brings at the top of the order. The Bobcats have drawn 107 walks and struck out just 60 times.

The Bobcats have won 15 in a row since a 9-8 loss to Grove City on March 29 and have won 25 of their last 26 dating back to May 11 of last season when they fell 5-2 to DuBois Central Catholic.

Clarion beat DCC for the District 9 and PIAA titles last year.

“I’m really excited because our team is just gonna keep rolling and doing what we do,” Smail said. “Playing small ball and then having the big games with a bunch of hits. That just shows we have no quit and you can never count us out of any game because we’re gonna string together some hits. That’s just how we roll.”

Following is the all-KSAC baseball teams:

P-Jacob Jones (Karns City), C-Keagan Book (Moniteau), 1B-Derek Smail (Clarion), INF-Dawson Smail (Clarion), Trey Fleming (Union/A-C Valley), Tommy Smith (Clarion-Limestone), OF-Owen Clouse (Redbank Valley), Hobie Bartoe (Karns City), Logan Lutz (Clarion-Limestone), DH-Dauntae Girvan (Clarion)

P-Tommy Smith (Clarion-Limestone), Tanner Miller (Clarion), Derek Smail (Clarion), C-Troy Nagel (Karns City), 1B-Ty Carrier (Redbank Valley), IF-Devon Lauer (Clarion), Braylon Wagner (Redbank Valley), Jaxon Huffman (Redbank Valley), OF-Mason Clouse (Redbank Valley), Bryce Brinkley (Clarion), Zach Cooper (Union/A-C Valley), DH-Cole Lufsey (Redbank Valley)

C-Breckin Minich (Redbank Valley), 1B-Adam Manuel (Karns City), IF-Sebastian Link (Union/A-C Valley), Mason Sherwin (Karns City), Noah Harrison (Clarion), OF-Tanner Miller (Clarion), Jacob Jones (Karns City), Aidan Tharan (Keystone), DH-Adrian Schmoll (Union/A-C Valley)