T-D HS Baseball

North Star’s Tony Strasiser batted .625 during his senior season.

Strasiser headed to WVU

By: Mike Kovak

JOHNSTOWN — The recruiting process for North Star’s Tony Strasiser was anything but typical.
Originally, Strasiser believed football offered the best opportunity and the 6-foot-6 receiver with eye-popping numbers had offers from several Patriot League schools, Virginia Military Academy, an appointment from the Army and significant interest from Syracuse.
“Honestly, I changed my mind from talking to kids playing football,” Strasiser said Monday. “They said it’s a lifestyle and that’s so true. It’s almost not fun because it demands so much of your time.”
Strasiser then considered following the footsteps of his older brother, Max, who eschewed college sports opportunities for the rugged lifestyle of a Navy Seals trainee.
“If I didn’t have the year of high school baseball that I had, I would probably be in basic training right now,” Strasiser said. “I talked to my brother. I talked to a recruiter.”
There aren’t many high school baseball players who put together the type of senior season Strasiser did for the Cougars, and thanks, in part, to correcting a hitch in his swing, college coaches and some major league scouts took notice.
Among the interested was West Virginia coach Randy Mazey, a United graduate who recently completed his first season with the Mountaineers. A scholarship offer soon followed and Strasiser committed to the Mountaineers Thursday night.
“It was a long process, and it was crazy with football and baseball.” Strasiser said. “When Coach Mazey first called, I didn’t know much about the program, but I found out how much he turned things around there and I’ve never heard a bad thing said about him. It ended up being an easy decision.”
Strasiser is joining a WVU baseball program that finished 33-26 in its first year competing in the Big 12 Conference.
“The South is obviously know for baseball and to get a chance to play a schedule like they play is amazing,” he said. “It’s crazy to think about playing baseball at the level I’ll be playing at.”
Strasiser, a two-time first-team pick to The Tribune-Democrat All-Area team as a wide receiver, played at a high level for North Star, which finished 21-1 this spring.
He batted .625 (40-for-64) with a .730 on-base percentage, seven home runs, 47 runs, 41 RBI and 26 stolen bases. As a pitcher, Strasiser compiled a 5-0 record with 40 strikeouts in 20 innings.
Those numbers drew the attention of the Cincinnati Reds and Texas Rangers, who are considering making a free-agent offer according to Strasiser.
“I (messed up) with the Rangers. If I filled out the player profile and not missed the deadline, I think they would have drafted me,” he said. “They could offer me a free-agent contract in two weeks. I’ll have to see what happens.”