With all the success he had on the playing field, playing for Conrad Chiropractic/Lilly American Legion in the Altoona Greater City League as well as Galliker's Dairy in Johnstown's AAABA League, Jeff Miller is enjoying almost as much success in his young managing career.
Since managing the Red Bull entry, which changed sponsors prior to this season to Wise Trailer Sales team in the Altoona AAABA League, he has had one strong great team after another.
His 2013 team is 6-1 and is easily leading the league in the early going of this season.
Wise Trailer Sales lineup has been truly outstanding, with guys like catcher Kyle Morrow and infielder Nate Negri anchoring it.
"Kyle homered today [in a loss to Martella's Pharmacy] and has been hitting the ball well," Miller said. "Nate Negri is hitting the ball really well now."
With all the offensive weapons, Miller's team is capable of big scoring innings.
"Each game, except for today's [game], we've had a big inning," Miller said. "That makes your pitching staff relax."
Miller's gang will have a big test this week when Wise Trailer Sales plays Delweld from Johnstown.
"Delweld's always tough beat," Miller said. "Their pitching staff is great and right now they are my favorite to win Johnstown's league."It's been someone different getting the big hits. It's not just one hitter. It's a team effort."
Altoona AAABA League president John Austin has been impressed with Wise Trailer Sales.
"They've been scoring runs and pitching every night," Austin said.
Railbirds, Ketrow competing
Although they have been losing a lot of ballgames, Railbirds and Ketrow Insurance have been competing and staying close while losing some close games of late.
The Railbirds lost close games this week to Wise Trailer Sales, 8-5, Thursday in Cresson, and just getting edged out by Johnstown's AAABA League powerhouse Delweld, 4-3, Wednesday.
"Regardless of their records, it seems like Railbirds and Ketrow have been competitive in their games lately," Austin said.
n Four hitters for JnD Guns shined in a pair of completed games this week, Leadoff hitter Jarrod Klausman had a 3-for-5 week at the plate, scoring three runs and knocking in a pair, while his younger brother, Jordan, went 3-for-7, scored two runs, hit a triple and had one RBI.
Jerrell Jackson went 3-for-7, hit a homer, rapped out a pair of doubles, scored four runs and had three RBIs. Ryan Pollicino had a 5-for-8 week, scored two, hit a double and knocked in two.
n Through Friday, a pair of Johnston Realty players, Josh Costa and Mike Marcinko, combined to go 6-for-12, scored four runs, hit a triple and drove home two.
Pitchers that excelled
n Logan Fluke and Greg Martin combined on a six-hit shutout of Ketrow Insurance for OA Orthopedics Tuesday at Point Stadium.
n Ryan Ickes, of Lilly Conrad Chiropractic/American Legion, notched a victory against Ketrow Insurance Wednesday at Juniata. He limited Ketrow Insurance to just two runs and four hits in a 4-2 Lilly win. He also struck out four while walking a pair.
n Tom Smith pitched a four-hit shutout against Sheetz on Friday at Vets Field. Smith, of ProActive Sports, struck out three and didn't walk a batter.
ProActive Sports went 2-0.
n Sheetz went 0-2, dropping to a league-worst 0-9.
n Railbirds went winless on the week, falling to 1-5 along the way.
Games of the week
n JnD Guns vs. Johnston Realty Friday at Juniata
n Lilly Conrad Chiropractic/American Legion vs. ProActive Sports Friday at Vet's.