The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local Sports

July 21, 2013

Shippey helps Delweld stage comeback win

JOHNSTOWN — Prior to the AAABA League season, Delweld’s Marcus Shippey had been accustomed to closing games for Shippensburg University.

The right-hander from Bedford finished Saturday night’s semifinal playoff opener against Laurel Auto Group.

This time, however, Shippey threw nine innings, as in a complete game six-hitter. Regular-season champion Delweld came back from an early deficit and beat No. 4 seed Laurel Auto 6-2 in the early game at Point Stadium.

“From the get-go, from the three strikeouts, I knew it was going to be a good game,” said Shippey, who fanned all three batters in the top of the first. “From the first seed to the fourth seed, anything can happen in this league. I knew if I threw strikes good things would happen.

“Being a closer at Shippensburg I’m not used to that whole nine inning game,” Shippey added. “It was just finding what pitches worked, how my stride was and the arm slot and just finding the zone.”

Shippey has been in a zone often this season. He recently tossed a no-hitter – striking out 12 – and earned the Point Stadium Award nomination for June.

He now has five wins, including a 4-1 regular-season mark, with 48 strikeouts and 17 walks. He struck out seven and walked four in Game 1 of the best-of-5 semifinal. Game 2 is tonight at the Point.

No. 2 Martella’s Pharmacy and No. 3 Berkley Hills Renegades played Saturday’s late game at the Point.

Those two teams also will play their second game tonight at the Point.

“Marcus did his job,” Delweld manager Chris DelSignore said. “We played clean baseball defensively.”

Delweld had nine hits and didn’t commit an error.

Laurel made three costly errors, as Delweld scored three unearned runs during its game-changing, four-run fifth inning. Laurel Auto had led 2-0 prior to that frame.

“(Pitcher Ryan) Bills only had two earned runs,” Laurel Auto manager Mark Thomchick said. “In playoff baseball, when things get tight, the little mistakes magnify.” 

Bills helped himself with a triple to right field in the second inning. He scored on Joe Fearer’s ground out.

Ben Webb singled and scored on Ryan Matsko’s sacrifice fly in the fourth to give Laurel Auto a two-run advantage.

A walk and an error preceded Luke Campbell’s two-run double to the left-field corner in the Delweld fifth.

Eric Weyant singled home Campbell. Ian Helsel doubled, and another error plated Weyant.

“I made a pretty crucial baserunning error the inning before and I was looking for a way to get back into it,” said Campbell, who was thrown out at second base to complete a double play after Laurel left fielder Fearer’s diving catch  on Matt Martin’s sinking liner.

“I was ahead in the count and got a good pitch to hit,” said Campbell, who bats in the No. 8 spot. “I ripped it down the line and a bad hop came my way in the outfield. Drew was able to score from first base. That gave us a spark.”

No. 9 hitter Devin Pritts singled in a run during the sixth, and Campbell lined a run-scoring single to left in the eighth.

“I found myself up in counts tonight,” Campbell said after going 3-for-4 with a run and three RBI. “I had good pitches to hit and the ball just fell my way.”

Campbell and Pritts accounted for four hits and four RBI.

“The bottom of our order was outstanding,” DelSignore said. “Luke and Devin were great. They did a great job of turning the order over.”

Bills and Nowicki each tripled for Laurel Auto.

“When a guy has that good of a velocity, and Shippey is a great pitcher who has done great things this year in this league, it can be tough to adjust to that right away,” Thomchick said. “We talked to our dugout about keeping our swings short and compact and time it out from the on-deck circle. I think it worked. We put some pretty good swings on him.”

Laurel had runners on second and third with one out in the eighth, but Shippey picked off Webb at third and got Fearer to hit an inning-ending ground out.

“We just didn’t get the big hit, and obviously the big pick-off late in the game hurt with the tying run being at second base with one out. That was my mistake,” Thomchick said. “Those mistakes are magnified in the playoffs.”

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