State College, PA. – On Tuesday, the Penn State University Athletic Conference Announced their weekly award winners and Penn State Greater Allegheny junior Matt Smith (North Versailles, PA./East Allegheny HS) was named the week one Baseball Pitcher of the Week. It has been an electric start to the 2019 season for Smith as he has appeared in four of the team’s seven games to start the season.
During the five games in Myrtle Beach, Smith made three appearances, one start, going 2-0 with a 1.54 ERA giving up four runs, two earned, while walking three and striking out six. Smith also picked up his first save of the 2019 season pitching three scoreless innings to finish out the team’s 10-5 win over Nassau Community College on Friday.
However, his best game came in the spring training opener against Lackawanna on March 4th. Smith went the complete seven innings giving up four runs, two earned, picking up his second win of the season. Smith was able to hold the #7 ranked team in the NJCAA last season to just seven hits and provided the team’s energy giving their offense the boost they needed to give him some run support.
After a season plagued by injury in 2018, Smith is excited to be back on the mound and will be looked to as an anchor to the PSUGA pitching staff this season. He will be head coach Kenny Creehan’s number one starter and will be tossed into some big situations throughout the season.
Creehan has been impressed with the start that Smith has had this season and says throwing strikes early has been the key to his hot start this season.
“[Smith] is able to throw strikes down in the zone,” said Creehan. “He is not really a strikeout type guy, but if you can get ahead, throw strikes, and keep down in the zone you are going to get weak fly balls and weak ground balls.”
Smith is the eighth PSUGA athlete to be recognized by the PSUAC this season and is the first of the spring sports season. It is also the first time in Smith’s career that he has won the award and is the first weekly award winner for PSUGA Baseball since former Lion Dan Daly won the Pitcher of the Week Award back on April 11th of 2018.
Smith and his team are back in action on Friday when they continue the non-conference portion of their schedule against Grove City with first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m.