Dunmorean of the Month: Rachel Walsh

rachel walshBy Steve Svetovich

Rachel Walsh was near perfect on the mound all season.

Daughter of Kevin and Michele Walsh, she seems to have a bright future on the softball diamond.

With her dad Kevin Walsh coaching the team, Rachel, 10, led the Dunmore 10 and Under Miss E League team to the Valley Junior Petunia League title with four magnificent pitching performances.

And that earned her tournament MVP honors.

Not that it was a surprise. After all, Rachel has a 21-3 pitching record (regular season and playoffs), over 100 strikeouts and miniscule 0.12 ERA.

She has been playing Miss E League softball for four years.

Representing Nina’s Pizza, Dunmore, Rachel pitched four games, winning three of them, in the tournament. She pitched a 3-hitter, no-hitter, 1-hitter and no-hitter. She lost the 1-hitter, 1-0, to a pitcher who fired a no-hitter for Dickson City’s Total Collision.

She then came back and pitched a no-hitter for Nina’s to defeat Total Collision, 2-1, in the championship.

Rachel struck out 9 in just four innings in the first game of the tournament. She followed that up with 12, 10 and 14 strikeouts in the next three games.

There are 13 players on the title team. Two of those players, Aubrey Mizenko and Ava Walsh (Rachel’s little sister) were call ups.

The other 11 members of the team besides Rachel are Amelia Ortiz, Natalie Mecca, Sydney Harding, Mia Irving, Sadie Ondek, Ella Brier, Jaclyn Brown, Maddie Pierce, Bethany Masurak and Amanda Dempsey.

“This is just a great group of girls,” said coach Kevin Walsh. “All of the girls put their time in and are very dedicated to the sport. The girls are eager to learn. I could not ask for a better group.”

team photo copy

Members of the Nina’s Pizza team in Dunmore include, front row, from left: Amanda Dempsey, Sydney Harding, Ella Brier, Sadie Ondek and Maddie Pierce. Second row, same order: Natalie Mecca, Amelia Ortiz, Rachel Walsh, Jaclyn Brown and Mia Irving. Back row, Coaches Nick Mecca, Kevin Walsh and Pat Irving. Not pictured are Bethany Mazurak, Ava Walsh and Aubrey Mizenko.

Nina’s Pizza, 14-2 during the regular season, also won the Icebreaker Tournament, with Rachel pitching in those games.

The Valley Junior Petunia League has 32 teams, so winning the tournament is very impressive. There is a lot of competition.

Many of the girls on the 10 and Under Nina’s Pizza team have been playing together for the past four years.

“These girls have a lot of dedication to each other,” said coach Walsh. “They have a tremendous work ethic and team unity.

“It was a total team effort with different kids contributing at different times to help win a game.

“The most important thing is that the kids are enjoying it.”

Rachel, also an excellent student, is going into the fifth grade. Coach Walsh is assisted by Nick Mecca and Pat Irving.

Rachel’s younger sister Ava, only 6, already is showing signs of being an outstanding player. She also contributed to the championship.

Rachel loves the game and is looking forward to many years ahead playing softball. Remember the name. In the meantime, Rachel is just having a lot of fun.

“We’re proud of her,” said coach Walsh. “We are proud of all the girls on the team.”

Athlete of the Month: Alex Terrery

Athlete of the Month - Alex TerreryBy Steve Svetovich

McGinty’s has been in the Dunmore Freedom League championship for two consecutive years and one of the big reasons why is Dunmore and Penn State graduate Alex Terrery.

Terrery, who received a B.S. in Information Technology and Sciences in 2016 from Penn State, is a shortstop-pitcher for McGinty’s.

Son of Charlie and Faith Terrery, Dunmore, he played four years of baseball at Dunmore High School where he was a pitcher-first baseman and all-star in his senior year. He played three years of baseball at Penn State Worthington as a pitcher-shortstop. He was named to the all-star team as a shortstop in his junior year there.

His dad at 58 is in his second year playing in the Dunmore Freedom League. The oldest player in the league, he is Alex’s teammate.

“Playing with my dad is a lot of fun,” Alex said. “He is living his dream. I never thought he would be playing at 58, but he is hitting the ball.”

Alex has been working for the past year at TMG Health, Jessup, where he is a production coordinator. “I love it. I work on computers. I do computer information technology work.”

His baseball coach at Dunmore was Mark Finan. “He is a great guy. He’s a tremendous baseball coach. I learned a lot from him. He teaches you to be a team player. That is what it’s all about.”

His coaches at Penn State were Steve Plevyak and James McAndrew. “I played under coach McAndrew with the Diamond Dogs fall team for a couple years in junior high and high school. He taught me a lot about baseball. I love him as a coach. I learned the most from him over the years.”

Alex said his mom and dad have been huge influences.

“They made me what I am today. They taught me respect. They taught me to respect everyone, especially your elders. I can go to them for anything.”

The baseball lifer said he loved Dunmore High School. “It’s a great school with great people. We had a great principal in Mr. Forgione. The school teaches kids to respect everyone. It’s not all about winning, but having fun and treating your coaches, teammates and opponents with respect.

“People who live in Dunmore never want to leave.”

Alex has a bright future ahead. “Playing in the Dunmore Freedom League the past four years has been a blast. It is the only competitive baseball league I can still play in, so I will go as long as I can. I love playing baseball.

“As for work, I love what I do. I love Dunmore, but will go where the job takes me. I want to,live a normal life and raise a family someday.”

 

Former Dunmore Pitcher Marc Perry is a “Baseball Lifer”

Marc Perry photo

By Steve Svetovich

Some ball players never want to take the uniform off. Take Marc Perry, for instance.

Perry was in the Dunmore High School baseball program for four years as a pitcher and then went on to pitch three more seasons for Wilkes University, and he’s not done yet.

That’s because Perry considers himself a baseball lifer.

“I love the game of baseball and want to play as long as I can.”

And that he has been doing. The hard throwing right hander pitched for the past three years in the summer Dunmore Freedom League at Sherwood Park. He also pitches for the Electric City Bootleggers in the Pocono Valley League.

In a recent game with the Bootleggers, he had a no hitter going until it was broken up with two outs in the fifth inning. He ended up giving up only two hits in six innings. It was a strong effort despite a loss.

Son of Ron and Stephanie Perry, Dunmore, Marc, 24, graduated from Dunmore High School in 2011. He played two seasons of junior varsity and two years of varsity baseball at Dunmore. His varsity baseball coach was Mark Finan.

Perry, who has a quiet confidence, went on to Wilkes University where he graduated in 2015 with a B.S. in Marketing. He pitched for Wilkes in his freshman, sophomore and junior years. He was coached by Matthew Hollod in his final two seasons.

Perry said he was highly impressed by a pitching coach, Tyler Shepple, he had in his sophomore year at Wilkes. Shepple was once drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers. “He taught me a lot about pitching mechanics and motion. He helped to improve my velocity. I was able to throw harder and be much more competitive. He was also better at calling my pitches than any coach I ever had. I have to give him a lot of credit for teaching me a lot about pitching.”

Perry, hard working and humble, also gave credit to Mike Guy, his coach for the Scranton Miners travel team. Perry is also a graduate of the Dunmore American Legion baseball program.

Perry currently works for Maximum Federal Services in Pittston. He processes health insurance appeals for the Affordable Health Care Act.

The baseball lifer said he owes a lot to his parents. “My parents taught me to be humble and respectful. They taught me to respect the game of baseball. They taught me to be a good person. They really taught me everything I know.”

The Dunmore graduate talked about his future.

“Right now, I enjoy my work. I would eventually like to move to Philadelphia and be with a company where I can grow and advance my career.

“I enjoy playing baseball and love to compete. I will continue playing baseball in the summer for as long as I can. Right now, I play in the two summer leagues. I love it too much to ever quit. I can’t imagine not playing. I’ll go as long as I can. I just love the game.”