Trib HSSN Baseball Players of the Week for April 26, 2021
Monday, April 26, 2021 | 10:33 p.m.
In the mid-1960s, The Patty Duke Show was a television show based on the adventures of two identical cousins who looked and acted the same, both played by actress Patty Duke.
The 2021 South Park baseball team has its own version of identical cousins.
No, Drew and Austin Lafferty don’t look alike, but their stats are almost identical and their dominant diamond actions are also similar.
The two were each 7 for 9 at the plate last week with six runs scored. Drew Lafferty had two doubles, a home run and seven RBIs while his cousin Austin also had two doubles with an RBI.
Drew is a junior transfer from Seton LaSalle, who as a rookie helped lead the Rebels to a WPIAL Championship with his arm and bat. He returned to his home district in part to play with his cousin Austin, who as a sophomore is enjoying success in his first high school baseball season.
“Drew coming from Seton has been huge,” South Park freshman coach Brad Shamitko said. “Not only do we love what he brings to the pitch, but we also appreciate his passion and love for the game that he has.
“It’s contagious among the other players. Unfortunately, due to his early season problem, we haven’t benefited much from his throwing or defense, but the glimpses we’ve seen early on and knowing what he’s up to gives us a lot of excitement and excitement. optimism for the end of the season.
Drew Lafferty has missed most of the season due to injury. Last week, he came back strong on Monday in the first of two section matches against defending Class 3A champion Steel Valley.
“For Drew, it was his first game since April 7,” Shamitko said. “They both did a good job adjusting to the pitch we faced that day, and they were ready to hit the ball the other way. They both fired quite a few bullets that day. Drew probably won the Cousin Battle that day with the home run he hit.
The Eagles edged past the Ironmen at West Field in Munhall, 13-5.
South Park continued their offense Tuesday at Evan Field with a 14-4 triumph.
“Game 2 against Steel Valley was Austin’s day by far,” Shamitko said. “He got the win on the mound and at the plate he couldn’t get out, going 4 for 4. Drew wasn’t far behind, going 3 for 4. Again that day they didn’t try to do too much and didn’t overrun.Both guys are great hitters and when they’re in play they’re hard to get out.
Unsurprisingly, the two have the same batting average through the Eagles’ first eight games. The cousins hit .500 each.
As for their throwing, it’s still unclear when Kentucky rookie Drew Lafferty will return to the hill, according to Shamitko.
“That decision is ultimately up to Drew,” Shamitko said. “With his future, the bigger picture is the most important thing for us and him. That being said, we hope he comes back for the playoffs.
“Austin has done a great job against Steel Valley and has done some outstanding things so far this year, as has all of our staff. Austin is a competitor and is doing a really good job hammering the area and throwing his three throws for shots. he walks very few guys and does a great job of shuffling. Being only a sophomore, we really couldn’t ask for much more from him.
Last week’s two wins gave South Park five straight wins, and the Eagles are even in the losing streak with Avonworth and Keystone Oaks in the fight for the top spot in Division 2-3A.
“So far for the year, we’re happy where we are,” Shamitko said. “There are always aspects of the game to work on and improve on, but in general I like where we are and where we are going. For my staff and I, we do our best to keep them positive because of everything they’ve been through and to just take and treat each day as their own because as we know nothing is guaranteed It’s such a special time in their lives.
Trib HSSN Baseball Players of the Week 2021
Week 3 – Payton Conti – California
Week 2 – Jake Slazinski, Keystone Oaks
Week 1 – Jake Walker, West Mifflin