The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local Sports

June 20, 2013

MIKE MASTOVICH| Rookie manager righting Laurel Auto Group ship

JOHNSTOWN — Casey Craig is new to his role as GM of the Laurel Auto Group franchise in the AAABA League.

But Craig has seen enough of Mark Thomchick to realize the first-year manager has brought instant respectability to a team that finished eight games under .500 last season.

Thomchick joined Laurel after three seasons as an assistant baseball coach at Washington & Jefferson College, where he also was a catcher during his playing days and still is among the career leaders with 21 homers and 91 RBI.

Last summer, the Indiana native was an assistant coach with the Cotuit Kettleers in the prestigious wooden-bat Cape Cod Collegiate Baseball League.

“Mark has done a great job,” Craig said prior to Laurel Auto Group’s 6-3 upset of league-leading Delweld on Tuesday night at Point Stadium. “Mark’s an alum of the league who played for Delweld, so I think he understands the caliber of baseball in the AAABA League.

“His spending two summers in the Cape Cod League brings a lot of credibility for him as a manager of the team, especially with the young kids.”

Laurel Auto Group was 9-4 after Tuesday’s win over Delweld, a team that had won 13 of its first 14 games prior to the setback. LAG and Delweld met again Wednesday at Roxbury Park. Delweld won that game, 3-2.

Put into perspective, Laurel won only 14 of 36 games played last season.

“I really like the energy Mark brings to the team,” said Craig, himself an addition to the LAG team late last fall. “He does a great job of not only managing the game but also teaching as he manages. I think that’s a pretty unique talent to not only be focused in on the strategy of the game but also to teach on the side.”

Thomchick is assisted by IUP product Tony Piccolini and Dan Fenton, a Richland High graduate who played at Juniata college. Dan Webb also assists.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Sports
  • Shelley and McElligot Series serves as reunion for former Chiefs personnel

    Not so long ago, Bob McElligott, like most Western Pennsylvania hockey fans, would savor a long Pittsburgh Penguins playoff run.
    The Somerset native followed the Pens’ Stanley Cup-winning teams in 1991 and 1992.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Malkin nearing return

    The Columbus Blue Jackets are the closest NHL team to the Pittsburgh Penguins, at least geographically. The two franchises are separated by 185 miles of highway.

    April 15, 2014

  • Reds swing way past Pirates

    Mike Leake doubled and hit a two-run homer Tuesday night, ending Gerrit Cole's winning streak and leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 7-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates that completed two days full of homers and delays.
    First, the NL Central rivals completed a game that was suspended in the sixth inning because of rain the previous night.

    April 15, 2014

  • Pitt ends its spring practices

    No tailgating.
    No trip to a local high school.

    April 15, 2014

  • Pirates Game 1 0415 Pirates edge out Reds in suspended game

    After all those home runs and an overnight delay, it was settled by a single.
    Andrew McCutchen doubled and came around on Russell Martin’s single in the seventh inning on Tuesday, giving the Pittsburgh Pirates an 8-7 victory over the Cincinnati Reds in the completion of a game that spanned two days and 10 home runs.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • track_B1 WestPAC relays go to Windber boys, Berlin girls

    Rain showers and dropping temperatures put a damper on Monday’s WestPAC Relays at Berlin Brothersvalley High School.
    For the Berlin girls and the boys from Windber, however, discomfort was not much of a factor.
    The Mountaineers won their third straight relay title while the Ramblers reclaimed the title from defending champ Shade.

    April 14, 2014 2 Photos

  • Penguins 0414 Pressure on Penguins to capture Cup

    The statistics are gaudy.
    And if the Pittsburgh Penguins can’t find a way to extend their season into the final days of spring, ultimately forgettable.
    The same team that led the NHL in man games lost due to injury (more than 500) also earned 109 points, led the Metropolitan Division from mid-October on and received another peerless effort from star Sidney Crosby, who topped the league with 104 points and is a near lock for the second MVP award of his career.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local High School Baseball and Softball Briefs 4-15-14

    April 14, 2014

  • Local Sports Briefs 4-15-14

    April 14, 2014

  • horizontal hawks Fighting Falcons win playoff series against Tomahawks

    The third period of Game 3 of the NAHL North Division semifinal served as a quick primer of the Johnstown Tomahawks’ playoff fortunes against top-seeded Port Huron.
    Trailing by two goals going into the third, the Tomahawks ramped up the intensity, producing a goal early and a multitude of chances at an equalizer until the game’s final moments when goaltender Max Milosek stopped Jordan Watt’s breakaway try as the Cambria County War Memorial Arena’s horn sounded.

    April 12, 2014 2 Photos

AP Video
Poll

Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

Yes
No
I'm not sure
     View Results
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide