Greensburg Tribune-Review's athletes of the week: Hempfield's Zack Martinelli, Greensburg Salem's Maggie Kallock
Claim to fame: Martinelli, who will be attending Seton Hill next year, struck out 18 batters to lead No. 3 seed Hempfield to a 2-0 win over No. 14 Fox Chapel at Gateway in the WPIAL Class AAAA first round on May 13. Martinelli, who is 5-0 with a 1.85 ERA and 56 strikeouts in 41.2 innings, threw one-hitters against Norwin and Central Catholic during the regular season.
“This season has been great,” he said. “After the first inning against Fox Chapel, I knew I was on with all my pitches. I was confident with my defense behind me and I knew they had my back when Fox Chapel was able to get a hit.”
What made you decide to go to Seton Hill?
I've been connected there since I was little. I went to their camps when I was 10 or 12. I really like their coaching staff. I'm going to major in sports management. I want to coach when I'm older so I think that's a good start.
What is your normal pre-game routine?
I do nothing special. I just grab my catcher and go in the bullpen and start throwing before the mound and work myself onto the mound. During the game, I don't really think of anything except for the game itself.
How is it to have someone like Greg Martin on your pitching staff?
It's awesome. He's my best friend. Having him behind me, I know we will have a solid outing and a chance to win. We mess around with each other a lot about how each other are pitching. He told me he was going to get 19 strikeouts the game after I struck out 18.
Who is your favorite MLB player?
I like Felix Hernandez. He plays on a team that doesn't get must press and he still gives it his all. He's just really good.
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I would probably go to Italy. I'm Italian and my pap has been there a lot. Just hearing the stories from him, I just want to go there.
School: Greensburg Salem
Claim to fame: Kallock, an outfielder who batted .500 during the regular season, hit a grand slam in the top of the seventh inning to help top-seeded Greensburg Salem (19-2) defeat Highlands, 6-5, in a WPIAL Class AAA first-round game at Plum on May 16.
“I knew none of my teammates were ready for the season to be done,” she said. “We had three consecutive singles before me. I didn't know what was going on when it happened, but I'm glad to be moving on.”
What was going through your head at that moment, especially being a freshman?
I definitely look up to Jayne (Oberdorf) and Taylor (Mehan), and I just wanted to do it for them. I moved up in the order and I was able to pull through for them.
How is it to have Jayne, Taylor and Karly Mellinger on the team with you?
They are a huge help with the younger girls. They tell us what we are doing wrong and how to fix it. They tell us to keep working harder and do well. It's fun to play with them and it's great to compete with these older girls.
What did Highlands do to keep it a close game?
Highlands just came out stronger than we expected. Jayne did awesome on the mound for us. At the plate, we had so many opportunities but weren't able to pull through until the last inning.
Which do you like more, batting or fielding?
I love defense. However, it switched up this year. I like the pressure of being in the big spots like that one against Highlands. But I really like playing in field and my defense.
Who is your role model?
My dad. Not just in sports, he pushes me to work harder, to stay confident, to be humble and take it has it comes. He tells me to work as much as you can and there is always room for improvement.