On The Mend

Mars’ Bednar plans return to mound soon

April 24, 2019 Cranberry Local Sports


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Mars senior pitching ace Will Bednar, seen here delivering a pitch during a WPIAL playoff game last season, has been working his way back to the Planets’ starting rotation since late March after inflammation in his right shoulder.

ADAMS TWP — On the mound and pitching in games.

That’s where Will Bednar wants to be. For the last month, however, he’s been resigned to simply preparing for his return.

Bednar, the senior ace at Mars and Mississippi State recruit, has been dealing with inflammation in his pitching shoulder. He was put on the shelf after pitching two innings during the Planets’ trip in South Carolina in March.

“It wasn’t really pain that I was feeling, more like a tired feeling in my shoulder,” said Bednar, a right-hander.

Bednar had a much busier off-season than normal and that could have had something to do with his absence from the mound.

“He threw for a lot of (pro) scouts over the winter,” said Mars coach and Will’s father, Andy Bednar.

It was during those pitching sessions that Will’s fastball reached the mid- to upper-90s. He then turned his attention toward his last high school season, which figured to be stellar. As a junior in 2018, his ERA dipped to 0.69 and he averaged 13 strikeouts per seven innings. He went 6-0 and walked just 11 batters in 51 innings.

“It stinks, not being out there and being on the mound,” said Will Bednar. “I want to help the team.”

But he hopes to return for the Planets’ stretch run of the regular season and hopefully, the WPIAL playoffs. Mars entered this week’s play 7-4 overall and 2-2 in section play.

“Will’s been going to physical therapy twice every week and he’s been throwing on the side,” Coach Bednar said. “He just threw a bullpen session (last Wednesday). We’re hoping to have him back either (this) week or the next.”

Though anxious to face opposing hitters, Will Bednar knows speeding up his return could extend his shoulder issues. He has his freshman year at Mississippi State and a possible selection in June’s Major League Baseball Amateur Draft to think about.

“I’m taking my recovery slowly,” he said. “I don’t want to rush into it.”

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