The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Mike Mastovich

June 29, 2012

MIKE MASTOVICH | Delweld extends AAABA win streak

— Delweld notched its seventh and eighth consecutive wins on Thursday night, even though the winning streak continued in a somewhat unorthodox fashion.

Manager Chris DelSignore’s 17-8 team was awarded a pair of forfeit victories when only one opposing player showed up at Point Stadium for a scheduled interleague game against Altoona’s Ketrow Insurance.

Delweld has climbed the AAABA League standings in a manner that local baseball fans have become accustomed to over the past 13 years.

On the field, the second-place squad has won six in a row and 11 of 12. Counting the forfeits, the string extends to eight straight and 13 of 14 in the official standings.

So much for that uncharacteristic 4-7 start.

“We’re still very much a work in progress,” DelSignore said after a 9-1 win over rival Martella’s Pharmacy on Wednesday. “We have some guys we’re trying to nurse back to health and get them eased back into playing.

“We’re very young but we have a lot of talent. We knew sooner or later we’d hit our stride. We’re playing good ball right now and we just want to continue to do so.”

DelSignore had to replace the likes of 2011 league MVP/

batting champion Zach Vignero, Pete Vuckovich Award winner Andy Smithmyer and All-AAABA Team selections Matt Donaldson and Josh Robinette from a 23-13 regular-season championship team.

The dugout wasn’t left empty though. All-league players Josh Stanscia, Eric Weyant and last season’s Ken Horoho top rookie player Zach Solarczyk returned. 

So did experienced players Logan Brown and Nate Plummer.

Early in the season, DelSignore predicted his team would take its lumps. But he was confident young players such as Marcus Shippey, Ian Stiffler, John Szmed, Ian Helsel and Stone Rice would mature. The manager also counted on a solid return to the mound from Ben Legath, who has made big strides in his comeback from Tommy John surgery a year ago.

“We’re gaining confidence at the plate,” DelSignore said.

“Defensively we feel very comfortable playing here at the Point. The pitchers are starting to figure out what needs to be done to be successful. Again, we’re still a work in progress.”

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Mike Mastovich
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