The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

June 26, 2013

MIKE MASTOVICH| Martella's right-hander a zero specialist

Mike Mastovich

JOHNSTOWN — Zero has been Mike Mulvey’s number throughout the AAABA League season.

Zero, as in runs scored against the big Martella’s Pharmacy right-hander.

Mulvey tossed his fourth shutout of the season and remained perfect in five decisions during a 1-0 victory over Altoona’s Johnston Realty on Tuesday night at Point Stadium. Johnston Realty had been undefeated in four previous interleague games prior to the rain-shortened, six-inning contest.

 “This is his third year with us,” Martella’s Pharmacy manager Chris Pfeil said. “All he does is come out and pound the strike zone. He moves the ball in and out. He’s just a winner on the mound. He’s not the type of guy who’s going to hit the 90s on the gun. But he knows when to blow it past somebody.”

Mulvey (5-0) has allowed only three earned runs in 32 innings pitched. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound Marietta College product has 27 strikeouts and five walks.

His season started with a 9-0 shutout against First Commonwealth. The defending champion Berkley Hills Renegades scored three runs against him in his second start, but Martella’s won 6-3.

Shutouts against Laurel Auto Group (8-0), Ophthalmic Associates (4-0) and Johnston Realty followed.

“I couldn’t ask for a better situation than being here with this organization,” Mulvey said. “It’s professional from top to bottom. They do a good job of getting good players every year. I’ve been fortunate to be here.”

Martella’s is fortunate to have him.

The Pharmacy added Mulvey to its roster via the waiver wire during the 2011 season. He began that spring playing for the Renegades.

“I thought I had a chance of being picked up by another team,” Mulvey said of his release. “It was the next day when I got a call from Digger (Pfeil). I went down to the field and got acquainted with the guys. And, here we are today.”

Mulvey has appeared in three AAABA Tournaments.

He’s developed a rapport with veteran Martella’s catcher Pat Gully.

“Pat is definitely one of the best catchers I’ve had,” said Mulvey, a North Catholic High School grad. “He’s definitely a good mind back there. He calls all the pitches. Him and I have become very close the past three years.”

Mulvey’s a big-game pitcher with plenty of college experience. His career record at Marietta was 15-3, and he was on two NCAA Division III College World Series winning teams.

“Mike’s key is his spotting his pitches,” Pfeil said. “He really doesn’t leave things over the middle of the plate. He’ll work the outside corner and he has the ability to bust guys in. His whole game on the mound is his location and how he spots pitches.”

Mulvey recently concluded his career at Marietta. He tested the independent pro market by trying out for the Washington Wild Things in the Frontier League.

“I’d like to play as long as I can,” he said. “We’ll see how that goes.”

q q q

Patriotic performance: The City of Johnstown and the AAABA League will honor the region’s veterans during the July 3 doubleheader at Point Stadium.

Delweld manager Chris DelSignore proposed that the league offer free admission to veterans of the U.S. Armed Services and their family members in conjunction with Johnstown’s annual Fourth of July celebration.

The AAABA League plays on July 3 each year, a day in advance of the city’s popular performance by the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra and a fireworks display at the Point.

“Chris approached me with the idea and I agreeed immediately,” said Darby Sprincz, Johnstown’s director of Public Works. “I just thought it was a fantastic idea. This is something we can do. America, apple pie and baseball. Here we go on the Fourth of July week.”

Children are admitted free during AAABA League season.

The hope is to provide autographs to youngsters.

“Some of the kids play baseball and don’t get an opportunity to watch the bigger guys play,” Sprincz said. “Here’s an opportunity for them to watch the bigger kids play for free.”

The Johnstown Symphony Orchestra worked with the league as well. Traditionally, JSO sets up the stage on July 3.

“When I told the Symphony what we were going to do on the third they were eccstatic,” Sprincz said. “They thought it was great.

“We’d like to work this into an annual event,” he added. “I think that would be fantastic.”

q q q

3’s are wild: Delweld is batting .333 as a team (157-for-471) with 35 doubles. Five players with 30 or more at-bats are hitting better than .325.

Those are Josh Robinette (.387), Josh Staniscia (.385), Ian Helsel (.375), Eric Weyant (.364) and Zach Solarczyk (.327).

q q q

Laurel duo: Zac Heide (17-for-44) and Joe Fearer (17-for-54) have combined for 34 of Laurel Auto Group’s 118 hits. Heide is batting .386, while Fearer is at .315.

LAG’s Zach Zimmerman (.355, 11-for-31) and Ben Webb (.320, 16-for-50) also are over .300 with more than 30 at-bats.

Mike Nowicki is 3-0 with a 3.20 ERA in 16 innings pitched.

q q q

Renegade bat: Berkley Hills Renegades slugger Jason Shirley is batting a league-high .533 with 16 hits in 30 at-bats.  Berkley Hills has six players batting over .300 with the minimum 30 at-bats, including Brett Marabito (.371), Matt Kastelic (.333), Dan Gray (.333), John Jones (.340), Jake Pribanic (.326) and Rick Jones (.321).