Many people were wondering where Andrew Yacyk was at the beginning of the 2012 baseball season, but not head coach Drew Crawford.
The North Hagerstown junior started the season slow at the plate with only six hits in his first eight games, but the Hubs were still winning.
“I wasn’t worried about him,” said Crawford. “He had a good mental approach and it was just a matter of staying patient.”
That is exactly what he did as the season progressed, a season in which the Hubs finished with a 20-2-1 record and a berth in the state Class 3A semifinals.
The first baseman, known as ‘Big City’ since his days as a youth baseball star with Federal Little League in 2008, finished with prolific numbers.
He batted .455 and set a Maryland single-season record with 51 runs batted in. He hammered 11 home runs, most in the latter part of the year and into the playoffs. He had 35 hits, scored 35 runs, had eight doubles, three triples and 10 stolen bases.
For his efforts, Yacyk is The Herald-Mail’s 2012 Washington County Baseball Hitter of the Year.
“I know I had a slow year, but I just tried to listen to people telling me to relax,” said Yacyk. “My timing was off. I was just swinging hard in case I hit it. I knew I’d come around. It was just a matter of confidence.”
Yacyk, a right-handed hitter, will have a chance to obliterate most of the North record book next year. He owns the career RBI mark and will most likely set new career standards in at least home runs, doubles, hits and runs scored.
Yacyk, who throws from the left side, also found himself pitching in a relief role and earning two saves. He’s likely to throw more next year and colleges are well aware of his velocity.
He has his idols.
“There are some parts of the game in which I pattern after (Mark Teixeira) and also Bryce Harper because he plays the game so hard,” said Yacyk.
His goal has always been simple: “I want to be a major league player,” he said.
Crawford had the highest of praise for Yacyk and likely has pleasant dreams about 2013.
“He is the best high school player I’ve seen,” he said. “He’ll probably graduate as the most prolific player the county has seen.”
Yacyk was helped by hitting third ahead of North cleanup batter Philip Pietro, who also challenged for hitter of the year with his .516 average.
“It helped having the second-best hitter behind him,” said Crawford.
Joining Yacyk and Pitcher of the Year J.T. Root on The Herald-Mail’s 2012 All-County First Team are:
Logan Appel, Clear Spring
Junior outfielder hit .517 and is All-County for a second year. Hit seven home runs, had 26 RBIs, walked 22 times and stole 19 bases.
Ben Bushong, North Hagerstown
Senior pitcher was the No. 2 man on the North staff with a 6-0 record and 1.73 ERA. Had 31 strikeouts in 32 1/3 innings.
Tyler Byers, Williamsport
Senior pitcher is All-County for a second year. After a rough start, came around for a 6-2 record, three saves, 4.04 ERA. At the plate, he had two homers.
Charles Cvijanovich, N. Hagerstown
Senior second baseman is a two-time All-County pick. He hit .418, scored 38 runs, walked 22 times and had 25 RBIs.
Matt Daley, North Hagerstown
Junior shortstop hit .404, scored 36 runs and had 21 walks. Was a second-team All-County pick last year.
Brock Heiston, Smithsburg
Senior outfielder hit .413 and led the Leopards in hits with 26. Was a second-team All-County pick last year.
Nick Hill, Clear Spring
Senior third baseman had a .457 average. He had eight doubles, four homers, 19 RBIs and 22 walks.