The Herald, Sharon, Pa.


July 10, 2014

Snyder, Gordon, Popatak named to All-State team

- — Grove City High’s David Gordon, Sharpsville’s Greg Popatak and Lakeview’s Logan Snyder recently were named to the Pennsylvania High School Baseball Coaches Association all-state team.

Synder was selected 1st-Team in Class A as a designated-hitter, while Gordon was honorably-mentioned in Class AAA and Popatak similarly was honored in AA. Gordon gained his laurels as a pitcher; Popatak as a 3rd baseman.

They were among 21 players from District 10 schools who were honored. McDowell middle-infielder Matt Hansen was named 1st-Team in Quad-A, while Saegertown’s Tyler Walters and Kyle Wise, a catcher and outfielder, respectively, were chosen to the 1st-Team in AA.

Bound for Binghamton (N.Y.) University on scholarship, Gordon will continue his education and play NCAA Division I baseball. Binghamton is a member of the America East Conference, and “have qualified for the NCAA Tournament three of the last four years,” Gordon gushed.

This past season for the Eagles of 1st-year Coach Billy Herman Gordon garnered a 6-2 won-lost record. The right-hander utilized a mid-80’s fastball — both 4- and 2-seamers — a breaking ball and change-up.

“My key is I throw strikes. I rarely walk anybody; I ‘pound the (strike)zone’ and let my fielders help me out,” Gordon said.

In 50ì innings pitched Gordon gave up only 10 bases on balls and 8 runs (7 earned) while whiffing 66 hitters. He had a microscopic 1.03 earned run average. He ranks among the top pitchers in Grove City High history in wins (20), winning percentage (87), ERA (1.27), strikeouts (227) and innings pitched (165ê).

“It’s a great honor,” related Gordon regarding the all-state nod. “Baseball is my life, my passion. With all the work I put in over the years, it feels good to be shown some recognition for all my hard work.”

A junior, the lefthanded-hitting Popatak produced another prodigious season. Popatak pounded the pill at a .486 clip, including 5 home runs, 18 RBI and 19 runs scored. As a freshman he batted .516 on 32 hits, with 26 RBI and 26 runs scored, while his sophomore season saw him hit .475 on 28 hits (3 homers), with 31 RBI and 26 runs.

Seventh-season Sharpsville skipper Mike Sikorski acknowledged,

“Average-wise, I don’t think it was as high as the past two years. But at the same time, he didn’t have a lot of protection behind him — we turned over our lineup a lot, and (opposing teams) were not throwing to him. “But,” Sikorski emphasized, “he had eighteen walks (5 intentional). His patience at the plate is second to none in the area. Rarely do you ever see him take a bad swing or a bad check-swing ... but his hands are so quick, he still rips it.

“He’s definitely one of the more feared hitters in our (region), that’s for sure,” Sikorski praised. “People pitched around him or tried to make him hit the other way (opposite field), but he’d always look for a pitch to drive.”

Popotak played 3rd base this past season for the Blue Devils after shoulder surgery relegated him to DH/1st-base duties a year ago.

“It was definitely a pleasure to have him on the team, and (all-state honors) are well deserved,” Sikorski said. “When he comes to the field he wants to get in his swings, he’ll stay late after practice to get more swings and take ground balls.

“He has talent, but doesn’t take it for granted, and has high hopes of playing in college,” Sikorski said, noting, “There have been several Division I school who’ve contacted him already.”

Snyder scorched the ball at a .465 rate, banging 20 hits and driving in 16 runs in only 13 games to amass a .566 OBP and 1.250 OPS, according to MaxPreps.

The junior catcher led Lakeview in virtually every offensive category, and was selected for the 2nd straight season as the Sailors’ player of the year.

Attempts to contact Sailors’ skipper Bill Beith were unsuccessful.

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