The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local Sports

July 31, 2013

MIKE MASTOVICH | Numbers add up for pick-ups

JOHNSTOWN — AAABA Tournament pick-up players present managers with an opportunity to strengthen their roster.

Pitching always is a tournament commodity. Add some arms.

Someone hurt? Pick a replacement.

Need a power hitter or a line drive machine? Go get him.

But pick-ups also can create a difficult decision for the same manager who must release a player or players who were part of a championship team throughout the summer. Sometimes, tweaking a lineup or adding the “wrong” guy can disrupt the always important chemistry.

This year, neither Delweld manager Chris DelSignore nor Martella’s Pharmacy manager Chris Pfeil had to make that tough choice to let go a player to make room for a pick-up.

“The hardest thing of being a manager is sometimes you have to get down to 16 to make room for your pick-up players on a roster of 20,” said DelSignore, whose team won the AAABA League playoff title and added four. “The hardest thing for a manager in that situation is telling a couple of guys that they’re going to be inactive for the tournament after they helped you win all summer.

“Due to the injuries that we had and players we lost along the way, that’s not an issue for us. We can all just come together and bring in the pick-up players and not have anybody worry about a spot taken by somebody that was on another team. It’s just one less distraction.”

Delweld added Berkley Hills Renegades Nate Campbell and Nate Spohn, and Laurel Auto Group’s Chris Nolan and Ryan Bills.

Martella’s took only three pick-ups: Renegades Dylin Brooks, Ricky Jones and Zachary Detillio.

“The main reason we went with three guys is when we looked at our team situation, one of our pitchers, Luke Novosel, wasn’t around much of the summer because of a class he had to take to get into grad school,” Pfeil said. “His classes are over and he’s available. It’s almost like having a fouth pick-up player. We just didn’t feel that to take a player off our roster that contributed a ton during our season would be fair. We got three spots, and we think we got three really good ones.”

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