The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Mike Mastovich

June 13, 2012

MIKE MASTOVICH| Despite holes, Renegades top AAABA

JOHNSTOWN — Larry McCabe appreciated the Berkley Hills Renegades’ ascent to first place in the AAABA League more than most people.

A first-year AAABA League manager but veteran of the region’s baseball scene, McCabe still is waiting to see how the Renegades perform when their lineup consistently is at full strength.

“We have not had a full lineup yet. We’ve had so many people injured,” said McCabe, who took over the Renegades managing duties this year. “(Pitcher) Jason Shirley played his first game (Monday) after he tweaked his hamstring in Youngstown State’s playoffs. Our first baseman had been sick and had a virus and has been on the disabled list. A couple people have hurt their arms. We’ve moved some people around.

“We’ve played games with nine and 10 kids because of kids getting out of college late or kids getting injured or graduation ceremonies. I’m sure everybody else is in the same position.”

Still the Renegades took an 8-3 record into Wednesday night’s game against Delweld at the Point. Berkley Hills held the top spot, with new franchise Laurel Auto Group in second.

Traditional powers Martella’s Pharmacy and Delweld held untraditional spots in the lower half of the standings.

“We’ve scored some runs and hit the ball relatively well,” said McCabe, the long-time Portage High School coach. “We’ve had some good performances from (left-handed pitcher) Nate Spohn and (right-hander) Ben Weimer. They have four of our eight wins between them. We went over to Altoona against Ketrow Insurance and Johnny Jones had a good day for us.”

Berkley Hills is 4-0 in interleague play against Altoona.

The Renegades opened the season with a win over defending playoff champion Martella’s but dropped the next two games of the series.

After that, Berkley Hills ran off six consecutive victories before Laurel snapped the string on Friday.

“I think it’s a good ballclub,” McCabe said. “When everybody is healthy we should be very competitive.”

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Mike Mastovich
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