Wayne Stewart collected 68 strikeouts and boasted a 3.86 earned run average for West Philadelphia High School.

Wayne Stewart collected 68 strikeouts and boasted a 3.86 earned run average for West Philadelphia High School.

— submitted photo

Wayne Stewart is one of the best pitchers in the Public League. Stewart had 68 strikeouts and a 3.86 earned run average for West Philadelphia High School’s baseball team this season.

His strong arm led the Speedboys to the league playoffs. West Philadelphia finished with a 5-3 overall record. Stewart was 5-1.

Now, Stewart, 6-foot-1, 197-pound senior, will have a chance to display his strong arm when he steps on the mound for the Public League team in the Phillies Baseball Carpenter Cup. The Public League will face the Inter-AC/Independents at the Phillies MLB Urban Youth Academy Fields at FDR Park in South Philadelphia on Tuesday, June 11. The first pitch will be at 4 p.m.

Stewart is excited about playing in the Carpenter Cup.

“I think it’s a very good opportunity to get expose to other scouts and schools with baseball,” Stewart said. “I think it’s a pretty good [team] actually. It’s a couple of guys I played with when I was younger. I played with Blake Mayberry [Central] who is one of my closest friends. Cameron [Simms, Science Leadership Academy] used to play second [base] and shortstop when I was younger, but now he’s a catcher. He’s really good. My friend Aidan Crean [outfielder] from Lincoln High School is playing in the Carpenter Cup. It’s familiar faces and baseball is a small world. It’s good to see these guys and actually take the field with them again.”

Stewart grew up playing for a number of inner city baseball teams like the Anderson Monarchs, Philadelphia Area Black Sox, Philadelphia Bobcats and the Tri State Arsenal. He’s been developing his pitching skills over the years.

“I started taking pitching seriously about four years ago when I started in high school,” Stewart said. “This past year, I’ve just been working hard on my pitching, working hard on my grips and stuff like that. This past season at West Philly High has been my best season I’ve ever had with pitching. So, I just been working hard. It’s been paying off.”

Stewart has shown a great deal of versatility on the mound. He’s capable of helping the team as a starter or a reliever.

“I do a little bit of both,” Stewart said. “I mostly start, but if you need me to relieve and shut the game out I’ll do that also. I just do whatever the coach or whomever tells me what to do.”

After the Carpenter Cup, Stewart has big plans for the summer months ahead.

“I’m going to play summer baseball,” Stewart said. “I’ll be going to Florida for the Baseball Factory International World Series in Pirate City [located in Bradenton, Florida]. That’s where the Pittsburgh Pirates have their spring training. After that, I’ll be going to college in August. I’m going to Cairn University in Langhorne.”

Meanwhile, Stewart is looking forward to playing i the Carpenter Cup.

dhunt@phillytrib.com (215) 893-5719

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