Lilly faces new challenges to ongoing legacy

The Altoona Greater City Baseball League opens up today with a very familiar defending champ.

For the 10th time in 11 years, Conrad Chiropractic/Lilly American Legion is the defending champs.

Ron Davison, statistician and manager of Conrad Chiropractic/Lilly American Legion, along with Lucas McCoy, talked about the run of success.

“It’s unprecedented what we’ve done,” Davison said. “And every year it gets tougher than the previous season. I’m sure it will be another battle to the end this year.”

While most teams are forced to replace its players on an annual basis, Lilly does not. Its core of Brent Matish, Ryan Ickes, Brandon Ickes and Brent Davison have been there for every championship season, or nearly every title.

“We’ve been extremely fortunate to keep our core intact,” Davison said. “It’s rare. It’s a tribute to them with all the success we’ve had.”

“Consistency’s been the key for them,” City League president Brian Farabaugh said. “Having that core together has meant everything for them.”

And it’s a near consensus pick to win another Altoona Greater City League championship. Nine of the 12 City League and Altoona AAABA League teams selected Lilly as its favorite.

There are not many changes to the league. There are only two of note, the first one being the addition of four teams – Matty Trucking, Grandview Meats, Locker Room and Mainline Men. The second change is to the league rules. The league has always used the Major League Baseball rulebook, and with the MLB changing the rules for collisions at homeplate, Farabaugh and the City League quickly followed suit.

“Last year, with only four teams, the teams, played the same teams over and over again,” Farabaugh said. “With four new teams this year it will help. We’re very excited for the season to begin.”

The City League consists of eight teams, Conrad Chiropractic/Lilly American Legion, ProActive Sports, Mountain View Archery, Sheetz, plus the four new teams. One name you will not see is East Coast Guns, who are no longer a team. Many of the players, including Andy Bagley, Matt Ballos, Troy Pincherri and Shane Suter, are playing for ProActive Sports.

Once again, the Altoona All-American Amateur League will play in its own league, with Johnston Realty, the Railbirds, Ketrow Insurance and Wise Trailer Sales all playing in the league. Each team will play against each City League team once, they will play each other three times and play each team from the Johnstown AAABA League once each.

Altoona AAABA League president, John Austin thinks it will be an exciting year.

“I think the league should be much more competitive this year,” Austin said. “I think Johnston’s the team to beat, with Wise losing players. But Ketrow and the Railbirds being much better.”

The Altoona AAABA League opens up with a doubleheader on Memorial Day.



Coach: Jared Pufka

Returning players: Jared Pufka, 2b; Jim McGough, 1b/of; Mark Biem, of; Buddy Durbin, of; Tony Lonero, of; Matt Kantowski, 3b/of; Matt Riley, of/p; Matt Zeak, of/p/1b; Nate Sanders, inf/of; Steve Holtz, inf; Travis Walkup, of; Chris Tromm, inf/p; Tim Eck, inf/p; Chris Brennamen, pf/p; Todd Johnson, p; Jaime Levinson, p/inf.

Newcomers: Dave Guyer, of; Tony James, inf; Robbie Yahner, c; Derek Boring, of; Tyler Golden, p/inf; Kyle DeGennaro, 1b/of.

Outlook: “We have a strong core of returning players that love to play the game. We enjoy the opportunity to play this great game. We’re looking to put our best effort forward every game, and do the best we can. Most importantly enjoy the experience and moments.”

Team to beat: Everybody

Locker Room

Coach: R.J. Barnard

Newcomers: R.J. Barnard, inf; Matt McCamley, of; Lucas Kelleher, inf; Matt Hershey, of; Mason Hershey, c/inf; Ryan Macnamara, inf/p; Andy Lytle, p/inf; Jake Weibley, of; Jerrell Jackson, of; Tyler Stiffler, inf; Matt Aungst, p; Brett Weibley, 3b/p; Johnny Martinez, of/1b; Alec Lytle, of; Ryan Slagenweit, p; Joe Grassi,of ; Steve Shiffler, util.; John Snyder, of; Matt Curtis, 3b/1b; Trey Claar, p; Nate Mills, util.; Andy Criste, inf; Jason Steinbugl, of.

Outlook: “With a decent pitching staff, and lots of young talent, we hope to contend for the league championship.”

Team to beat: Lilly

Mountain View Archery

Coach: Dale Snyder

Returning players: Nate Clancy, of; Josh Ebersole, of; Shawn Conrad, p/inf; Damon Lascoli, c/p; Chad Koch, of; Ryan Harshberger, inf; Jim Harshberger, 1b; Alex Marchi, p/inf; Josh Ebersole, of; Eric Miller, p/inf; Will Snyder, c/inf; Tyler Sweeney, p/inf; Ken Snyder, c/of; Anthony Williams, inf.

Newcomers: Terry Hartman, of; Collin Elliot, p/inf; Tyler Sweeney, p/inf; Chris Carper, of; Jordan Becker, of; Tyler Negri, p/inf; Dylan Oswalt, of; Lou Rhodes, p/inf; Kyle Scherdan, inf; Nick Smith, p/inf.

Outlook: “We finished strong last year, and we’re hoping to carry that momentum into this season.”

Team to beat: Lilly

Matty Trucking

Coach: Bryan Plummer

Newcomers: Bryan Plummer, 3b/1b/p; Bill Dicken, p; Shawn Moyer, of/p; Wes Soudnour, of/p; Luke Weber, of/2b; George Dilling, of/3b; Mason Watson, p/of; Mac Watson, c; Nate Detwiler, 1b/2b; Calvin Yohn, c; Jeremy Dinsmore, inf; Chad Walter, of; Matt Walter, c/1b; Mike Murphy, inf; Matt Smithbower, of; Matt Cushion, of; Derek Frye, of; Cody Grace, util; Evan Olsen, inf; Chad Barr, of; Craig Eckenrode, ss.

Outlook: “The group has wonderful team chemistry. And I really think we’re going to surprise some people this year.”

Team to beat: Lilly

Grandview Meats

Coaches: Andrew Scalice and Matt Stewart

Newcomers: Andrew Scalice, c; Ian Ralston, 1b/p; Tyson Steele, of; Kyler Mearkle, of; Ethan Wise, 3b/ss; Kenny Dalto, of; Matt Frederick, ss/p; Matt Stewart, p/2b;Tyler Swope, p/1b; Craig McCloskey, p/of/1b; Ryan Murphy, of/p; Joe Merbach, of/3b; Ben Kepner, c; Nate Port, c; Dan Stewart, 3b; Kyle Ainsworth, ss/2b; Cory Myers, of/2b; Scott Lytle, 2b.

Outlook: “We have an overall solid outfield with a lot of speed and talent. We have solid arms and plenty of potential in the infield. As a new team, we are hoping to just come into the league and put runs on the board. We should be competitive.”

Team to beat: Mountain View Archery

Mainline Men

Coach: Rob Pettanati

Newcomers: Alex Pettanati, p; Nick Pettanati, cf/p ; Rick Patterson, c/rf; Luke Geisbrecht, ss/p; Nick Geisbrecht, 1b/rf; Jermey Smick, 1b; Elliott Robertson, 2b/p; Adam Eckenrode, 3b/c; Simon Itle, 2b/p; Josh Vingish, lf/p ; Derek Nash, ss/c; Vance Kimberly, 1b; Paul Myers, 2b/c; Brandon Behe, 3b/p; Devin Lawhead, lf; Krist Kowalsky, lf/3b; Matt Glen, cf ; Gerry Mcelheny, lf; Brandon McElheny, 2b; Bryant Rydbom, rf; Shane Mallin, ss; Mike Lysick, of/p.

Outlook: “We have a great bunch of guys that can play ball. We just never have time to practice. We should become a complete team a few weeks into the season. I would like to win half of our games with us being a first year team.”

Team to beat: Lilly

ProActive Sports

Coach: Tom Smith

Returning players: Tom Smith, p/of; Mark Saxman, p; Sean Gority, ss/p; Jake Hargreaves, 3b; John Wilson, of; Jay Baker, of/inf; Tyler Neff, p/of; Jimmy Clancy, of; John Snyder, of; Vince Nedimyer, c.

Newcomers: Andy Bagley, of; Matt Ballos, p/inf; Josh Farabaugh, of; Ryan Pollicino, p; Brian Farabaugh, p/3b; Jarrod Klausman, of/1b; Jordan Klausman, of; Troy Pincherri, c; Shane Suter, p; Mac Watson, c; Tyler Sell, p; Andy Glass, inf; Andy Smithbower, p; Joe Glass, p.

Outlook: “We’re just trying to get into the playoffs and win the championship.”

Team to beat: Lilly and ProActive Sports

Conrad Chiropractic/

Lilly American Legion

Coach: Lucas McCoy and Ron Davison

Returning players: Brent Davison, of; B , Brent Matish of; Brandon Ickes, ss; Ryan Ickes, of; Cody Gallaher, 1b; Landon Sinclair, p; Lucas McCoy, 3b; Ian Olsavsky, p/1b; Brock Porter, c; Paul Holberg, p; Shane Hartline, p; Zach Stere, p; Gregg Banduh, p; Brandon Tipton, p.

Newcomers: Nick Wendell, c; Derek Younker, p; Kelbi Berg, p; Mike Wigfield, p; Ryan Lingenfelter, of; A.J. Guzic, of; Colin Harrington, inf.

Outlook: “Were looking for another championship. It’s going to be tough though.”

Team to beat: Anybody

AAABA League

Johnston Realty

Coach: Mel Curtis

Returning players: Jason Costa, c/1b; Mark Curtis, p; Justin Taylor, p/inf; Cody Doran, of; Ryan Hill, c; Mike Marcinko, ss; Jake Belinda, util; Parker Watson, p/inf; Garret Peterson, p; Mike Finlan, p; Braedon Pennington, p/of; Tim Scholly, p; Clyde McCallister, dh/inf; Ty Zimmerman, inf; Derek Danver, inf.

Newcomers: Kyle Schneider, p; Chad Spiegel, p; Jordan Faretta, inf; Dan Beech, inf; Trenton Creppage, c-inf.

Outlook: “We want to build off last season’s success. And take it one game at a time'”

Team to beat: Lilly

Ketrow Insurance

Coach: Phil Sipes

Returning players: Jaret Berardinelli, inf; Cody Henderson, inf; Jared Keller, inf; Austin McMonagle, inf/p/of; Eric Miller, inf; Mike McCall, inf; Thayne Russel, of; Corey Sell, p/of; Ryan Waltz, p

Newcomers: Anthony Lombardo, c/of; Travis Baker, inf; Wyatt Belinda, inf/of; Aaron Burger, inf/p; Tristan Douglass, inf; Trent Sipes, inf/p; Tanner Claar, of; Marcello Defay, of; Hayden DeGennaro, of/p; Dom Lombardo, of/p; Jordan Miller, of/p; Tyler Osterhout, of; Derek Cursio, p; Cory Greer, p; Tyler Lalli, p; Dom Viduya, p; Austin Pope, util.

Outlook: “We’re in our second season of a rebuild. We’re still going to be young, especially compared to Johnston Realty and Wise Trailer Sales, but we are progressing quite nicely. If we stay committed, we have a chance to be much better. Hopefully, it will translate to wins, and being a factor in the playoffs.”

Team to beat: Lilly

Wise Trailer Sales

Coach: Rick Weaver

Returning players: Jake Stern, inf; Brian Laurito, c; Darian Herncane, of; Evan Appleby, inf/of; Ben Wyland, p; Cam Kyle, p; Elliot Chamberlain, p; Cody Heane, p.

Newcomers: Christian Helsel, inf; Cayden Stover, inf; Devon Walker, inf; Dan Bowman, inf; Zach Coukart, inf; Cy Treaster, c/of; Adam Polites, of; Lucas Runk, of; Tanner Cook, of; Pete Shaffer, p; Chris Storm, p; Mike Mock, p; Trentin Martin, p.

Outlook: “We had a pretty large turnover from last year’s team, but we are excited about the guys we are bringing in. We feel this is more gritty than past teams, and we look forward to letting some of those players play up to their potential.”

Team to beat: Lilly


Coach: Steve Hamm

Returning players: Jordan Swope, inf/of/p; Cody Krepps, inf/of; Eric Grace, p/inf; Kasy Hamm, c/p; Andy Crum, p/inf/of; Trey Claar, p/inf; Ryan Creps, inf; J.D. Weyant, p/inf; Garrett England, util; J.D. Green, of/p; Zach Croft, p; Kyle Schoen, c/inf; Deryk Montgomery, p; Luke Stultz, c/inf; Cam Malone, of/inf.

Newcomers: Chris Sinisi, inf/p; Seth Hunter, p/inf.

Outlook: “We continue to grow and improve each year and looking for a competitive season.”

Team to beat: Lilly