Marcus Shippey is ready to take the baseball on Johnstown’s biggest stage.
That suits Delweld manager Chris DelSignore just fine.
“Marcus has been our workhorse all year and he’s definitely earned that right,” said DelSignore, who named the right-handed Shippey to start in the official opener of the 69th AAABA Tournament on Monday night at Point Stadium.
“Marcus has thrown the most consistent of all the starters we’ve had this year,” DelSignore added. “It was a no-brainer letting him have the ball on Monday.”
Shippey has the tools and the mentality to fill the role. The former Bedford High School standout made his mark as the Bisons quarterback a couple years ago. On the baseball diamond, Shippey has the same poise and grit.
“I just want to just come out and do what I’m supposed to do,” said Shippey, who pitches at Shippensburg University.
“The fans are going to be here. It’s going to be wild, especially after the parade. For me it’s just keeping my head and trying to come out and do what I’m supposed to do for as many innings as I can.”
Shippey threw 362⁄3 innings during the regular season, going 4-1 with a 2.29 ERA for Delweld, the local AAABA League regular-season and playoff champion. He had 41 strikeouts and only 13 walks.
The righty tossed a no-hitter against Ophthalmic Associates and earned the Point Stadium Award nomination for June. In that game, Shippey had
12 strikeouts and retired the final
18 batters he faced.
He didn’t slow down in the playoffs.
Shippey won Game 1 of the semifinal series against Laurel Auto Group and was on the mound but got a no-decision in Delweld’s Game 1 victory over Martella’s Pharmacy in the championship series.
“I throw a hard fastball and that’s usually what I go to,” Shippey said.
“I try to work ahead. That way I can have them off balance.”
Shippey will front a staff that also relies on Ben Legath (4-1, 1.77 ERA, regular season), Brad Ditzler (3-1, 1.94, two saves), Nate Plummer (3-2, 2.36), Austin Sleek (3-0, 2.59), Joel Polites (3-0, 2.29, one save), Stone Rice (Game 1 winner in the finals) and Ryan Orlovsky (1.66 ERA) as well as pick-up hurlers Nate Spohn, Chris Nolan and Ryan Bills.
“We were able to get through the playoffs with really good offense. Our pitching was adequate enough to win,” DelSignore said. “I think by adding Spohn, Ryan Bills and Chris Nolan, that will give us more arms.
“Nate Spohn, if the Renegades would have won, he’d be their opening night starter. He has experience throwing in the evening games here and that’s going to be invaluable. All these kids we brought in are going to bolster an already good staff.”
Delweld will play at 7:30 on Monday. Martella’s Pharmacy, Johnstown’s runner-up, will play in one of the afternoon games at Point Stadium on Monday.
Martella’s manager Chris Pfeil said he won’t name his opening day starter until after Sunday night’s pairings are announced.