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Liberty heart-and-soul -- Salfia -- signs with Alderson-Broaddus

by John G. Miller


Mark Salfia's high school baseball career can be best summed up with one play in the state tournament.

Needing his team to get off to a strong start in the Class AA championship game, Liberty coach Pete Iquinto asked Salfia to drop a surprise suicide squeeze bunt with the bases loaded.

Salfia never questioned the move and delivered a perfect bunt to score a run. The Mountaineers went on to win the school's first state championship in any sport.

Salfia hopes for more success in college as the two-time All-Big 10 and All-Harrison County selection has signed to play for Alderson-Broaddus College.

"Mark Salfia, No. 1, is a team player," Iquinto said.

"That play in the state tournament showed that.

"He does whatever's asked of him for the good of the team."

Iquinto said Salfia was also the "glue" which held the Mountaineers together through any rough spots.

"Mark's got a positive attitude," Iquinto said. "He did an outstanding job holding us together and always kept the guys up and focused."

Salfia, who played several positions during his high school career, said he hopes to play second base in college.

"I'll play wherever they need me," Salfia said.

"I'm looking forward to the opportunity."

A-B coach Chad Hefner said Salfia's versatility is a big plus.

"He's a solid player in the outfield or at second base," Hefner said. "He'll probably be a utility player for us as a freshman and then move to a starting position by the time he's a sophomore.

"We really think he's got great fundamentals and he's a real competitor," Hefner said. "He's hard-nosed, plays for the team and doesn't give you any trouble. That's what we're looking for."

Iquinto believes Salfia is an excellent addition to the A-B program.

"Mark's a guy who can bat anywhere from second to fifth in the lineup," Iquinto said. "He hit nearly .400 for us and was one of our top RBI guys.

"For a long time he batted second, but we ended up moving him to fifth for run production."

Salfia said his decision to attend A-B was based on two important factors.

"I really like the academic reputation Alderson-Broaddus has and they have an excellent sports medicine program that I want to go into," Salfia said.

"And the fact that it's close to home made the decision that much easier. My parents will be able to come and watch the games."