Gilbertsville looks to
defend Tri-County titles
Of The Morning Call
Tri-County Baseball League is full of colorful characters who just love to play
the game for the reason it was originally intended - - to have fun. Take
Coplay's Lou Falco, for example.
Falco, the Tri-Co's two-time batting champ, is all pumped up about the 1990
Tri-County League season that begins its second full week of action today. The
biggest reason for Falco's excitement is that he feels his Serpents should be in
the hunt to get back the league championship it earned back in 1988.
Falco also knows that the road to the title goes through Gilbertsville --
last year's regular season and playoff champ -- and that route again figures
to be bumpy.
"Gilbertsville's definitely the team to beat," Falco said. "They had an
unbelievable year last year and they keep getting different guys. Their
lineup may change from game to game, but their players can all crack the
ball pretty good."
However, Falco, who is one of the league's veterans at the age of 33, knows
that several other clubs are capable of taking away Gilbertsville's crown.
lot of players have moved around and some of the teams that were weak might
suddenly be pretty strong," he said. "Even last year, some of the weaker
teams were beating the better teams. Anything can happen on a given night in
Falco feels his Coplay team can make good things happen with one of the
league's strongest pitching staffs. Coplay's four hurlers -- newcomer Dave
Chandler, Bob Bleiler, Jim Emerick and Randy Bear -- "are probably four of
the best pitchers in the league," according to Falco.
Falco says that his offensive lineup is again loaded with himself, Bill
Pugh, Eric and Mark Csencsits being just a few of the players with potent
sticks. But the only thing he promises is that his team will play hard and
enjoy every minute of it.
"We've been together for four or five years now and the one thing we all
have is a love for the game," he said. "We're out there to have fun, doing
something we really enjoy. Of course, we want to win, but the most important
thing is that we can get together and get away from the rigors of everyday
life for awhile and just play some ball."
Here's a look at the rest of the league:
Gilbertsville, which went 28-4 in the regular season last summer, figures to
rule the South Division once again. The Rangers' premier players include
pitcher Pete Kurtz (12-0 a year ago), slugger Jeff Evans (.424) and the
Gilbert boys -- Brian and Greg. Greg, formerly a member of the Atlanta
Braves' organization, hit .442 last season.
Gilbertsville's most severe challenge may come from Upper Perk. The Chiefs
went 21-13 a year ago and will again be led by player- manager Bob Graber,
who posted a 5-3 record on the mound last season. Joining Graber on the hill
will be Chris Fluck (7-2 last season), while the offense will feature Matt
Duka and Ray Steinman, who led the team with a .388 average last season.
Quakertown should improve from its 15-15 mark of last summer with the
addition of the league's all-time home run king, Mike Kotkoski. He joins
player/co-manager Bob Drumbore (.408, 9 HRs) and Brian Hoehn (.394, 7 HRs)
in a potentially explosive attack.
rest of the South pack doesn't figure to challenge Gilbertsville. Silver
Creek is looking to bounce back from an 8-23 mark with new manager Joe Smull
running the show. The Creekers picked up several players from the defunct
Alpha squad who should help out. Steve and Matt Smull, Bill Krchnavy, Tom
Boice and Bruce Alpaugh join veteran team members Jon Ference and Bob Carr.
Former Alpha skipper Chuck Ciganick has also joined another club - - the
Cetronia Bluejays. The Bluejays were 12-20 as Old Zionsville last year.
Player-manager Joe Sedler (.390, 6 HRs) will be counting on pitcher Don
Rosenberger (8-5 last year) and Todd Greb (.364) among others.
Emmaus is the new kid on the block and Dave Ernst's team figures to be like
most expansion clubs and take its lumps in its initial go- around. In its
opener Friday night, Emmaus was thumped by Quakertown 16-3.
North was the place for a tight race in '89 as division champ Coplay (20-12)
finished only one game ahead of both Limeport and the Allentown Angels.
Limeport and the Angels should be at or near the top of the pack again.
Angels are led on the mound by player-manager Ray Ganser, who went 8-3.
Allentown also features the league's MVP in Joe Aleszczyk, who batted .397
with eight home runs a year ago and veteran sluggers Dale Weiss (.394) and
Dave Lutte (.376, 11 HRs and team-high 33 RBI).
Ishky Fatzinger's Limeport team should again be a force. The '88 playoff
champs feature the bats of Eric Dieter (.363), Bill Fatzinger (.346, 35 RBI)
and catcher Jack Goddess (.368, 38 RBI, 6 HRs) in their arsenal. Jim Simonds,
7-6 a year ago, heads the mound corps.
Texas is looking to push above the .500 mark it ended at last season.
Player-manager George Horn, who batted .340 and led the team with 26 RBI and
four HRs, will be looking for another strong season from pitcher Stu Link
(5-1). Wayne Simock, who batted .356, is another player looking to duplicate
an outstanding '89 campaign.
Salisbury doesn't want to duplicate much from its 14-18 season of a year
ago. Manager Dave Snyder will be looking for pitcher Tom Golden (6-4) and
top hitter Mark Kelly (.382, five HRs) to help the team turn things around.
team in need of a drastic turnaround is the Bethlehem Pirates. The Bucs
dropped 24 of their 32 games last season and manager Jim Marouchoc has a lot
of new names determined to turn the team in the right direction. Glenn
Snyder, who batted .333 last summer, is expected to be an offensive key.
league will once again crown a regular season and playoff champ. The two
division winners will meet to decide the seasonal crown, while the top three
teams from each division enter the playoff tournament.
From The Morning Call --
May 20, 1990
The Morning Call