Fatzinger powers Limeport to victory
Of The Morning Call
"I don't know where
it came from, maybe it's just a matter of too many beers," kidded Limeport's
Billy Fatzinger last night after he slugged three home runs, including a grand
slam, in leading his team to a 17-4 pasting of the Allentown Angels in the
opening game of the Tri-County League's Playoff Championship Series in
If a few brews
explained it, then you can bet both Limeport (20-13) and the Angels (25-8) will
be stocking up on the cases today in time for tonight's second game in the
best-of-three series, beginning at 8 p.m. at Fegely Stadium.
hard to explain where Fatzinger's sudden burst of power came from. The
slender outfielder had not hit a home run since the opening game of the
season back on May 15 at Scherersville in a game against Salisbury.
"I don't know if my
swing changed or what," said Fatzinger, a 1982 Dieruff High graduate. "I've
never been a home run hitter. I've never had a multiple home run game in my
life, going all the way to back to Little League. Last year, I went the
entire regular season without a home run. I don't have an answer. I was in a
slump coming into this game."
Make no mistake,
that slump is as gone as one of the ropes Fatzinger hit over the fence last
Actually, he was
just the leader of a long hit parade that might still be going had not the
umpires stopped the action with two out in the top of the sixth, two
Limeport runners still on base and lightning and thunder in the area.
its own fireworks throughout the night with 19 hits, including seven for
"All of our guys
were on tonight," said Ishky Fatzinger, who had reason to be both a proud
manager and father after watching his son Billy's incredible three-homer,
seven-RBI display. "Still, there's no way that this series is over by any
means. I told Ray (Ganser, the Angel manager) that I'd like to save a few
runs for the next game, but you can't do that. We'd love to end this
(tonight), but I'm sure the Angels will have their say about that. They can
hit the ball, too."
Indeed, the game
started out like an Angel cakewalk. Joe Aleszczyk, Dave Chapman and Dale
Weiss strung together three consecutive singles for one run before Dave
Lutte drilled a Jim Simonds delivery over the fence in right for a three-run
home run and a 4-0 lead.
The Angel cushion
evaporated as quickly as a drop of water on a steamy pavement.
single started the inning and was followed by another hit and a throwing
error. Then came the deluge . . . a double by Carl Solarek, a bunt-single by
Mark Somers, a run-scoring single by Eric Dieter, a double by Chris Rios, an
infield hit by John Evans and then the stunner, Fatzinger's slam which
capped the nine-run, eight-hit assault.
"We've been able to
come back in games lately, so even when we got down by four in the first
inning we knew we could come back," said Billy Fatzinger, who has been
playing on his father's Tri-Co club for eight years.
"I think one of the
things that has helped us is that no one really expected too much from us in
the playoffs. We just made it into the playoffs to begin with. But since we
came back to beat Quakertown in a first-round playoff game, we've realized
that we can do it. We can play with any team."
showed it could hit with any club last night. The bats were silenced for one
inning before Fatzinger ripped his second home run of the night - a two-run
shot in the fourth - to make it 11-4.
"Billy has always
been more of a line drive hitter," said the senior Fatzinger, whose club is
looking for its first Tri-Co title since a regular season championship in
1982. "He has shown that he can hit home runs now and then, but I'd rather
see him keep a nice level swing. He was due for a good game, but I can't
remember him ever having a game like this going way back to his first games
down at East Side Memorial Little League."
The game took on a
Little League look as Chris Rios' two-run single made it 13-4 in the top
fifth and the Angels' only hope was that the dark clouds would open up
before the bottom of the fifth was completed. The rain held off, but the
Limeport offense didn't.
home run came with one out in the sixth and two batters later, Solarek
(3-for-4, 3 runs scored) got into the act with a two-run blast of his own.
Somers singled, Dieter double and Rios singled for another run before the
umpires mercifully halted - at least from the Angels' point of view - the
From The Morning Call --
August 13, 1988
The Morning Call