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Morgantown’s Ty Galusky named 2023 Johnny Bench Award recipient

MORGANTOWN – Morgantown High School baseball catcher Ty Galusky was selected as the 2023 Johnny Bench Award winner as the top catcher in West Virginia. The award is given to the top baseball and softball catcher from the NCAA, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and West Virginia.

The award was first given beyond the collegiate level in 2019 when the Johnny Bench Awards partnered with the Cincinnati Reds.

He is the second catcher from MHS to win the award after Caleb Taylor was the inaugural prep winner in 2019.

“This is something that I’ve worked for since I’ve been in high school,” Galusky said Wednesday. “It’s something I knew about after watching Caleb Taylor win in 2019 and a great accolade. I feel very fortunate to receive it.”

Galusky signed this past spring to continue playing baseball at Fort Scott Community College in the fall, something he thought may never present itself early in his career as injuries plagued his time at MHS. After losing his freshman season in 2019 to COVID, an arm injury that required surgery sidelined Galusky for an extended time just before his sophomore season.

“Fall of my sophomore year I suffered a torn UCL and had an operation for it,” he said. “It was around a six-month recovery from that point.”

After the conclusion of his sophomore season, Galusky entered summer ball rehabbed and ready to try and get back to 100% effort behind and at the plate. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before the discomfort crept its way back.

“That following summer I started having some pain in my arm again which was scary for sure,” he said. “Turns out I had a bone spur that had caused a stress fracture in the same arm. That also required an operation to remove the spur.”

Then came another six months of a lot of recovery, and with that a lot of doubt.

“There were absolutely days that I never thought I would play again,” Galusky said. “Working so hard to come back after the first six months and only getting that week or two before I started feeling the pain again was tough. I also kept thinking about if I would be the same player coming back or not, throwing the same, hitting the same. It was really hard after my second injury.”

Finally, after an injury-free summer of 2022, Galusky entered his senior year poised and ready to help his team and make an impact.

He did just that, batting .437 with 38 hits, 19 RBI, and 39 runs scored. He posted a .990 fielding percentage and caught six runners stealing base out of only eight attempts in 32 games played.

“I didn’t want to be out there and not helping my team win, I’m too competitive for that,” Galusky said. “I wanted to be able to make an impact and help my team win games. Of course there were times where I thought about something going wrong and happening again, but when I ever got down about anything, the people around me were there to pick me up.”

From his coaches and teammates, to his parents and therapist, Ty says the support he felt from those around him played a huge role in his confidence.

“I don’t think I could’ve done it by myself, that’s for sure,” he said.

Winners will be honored at an awards luncheon on July 18 at Great American Ballpark.

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