Lutte unloads monkey, homer
Of The Morning Call
About two-thirds of the way around the bases on his two-run home run in the
fifth inning last night in the opening game of the Tri- County League
Championship Series, Stahley's Dave Lutte began to look like he was carrying a
giant monkey on his back.
Lutte finally arrived at the plate and when he did, not only was the monkey off
his back, but it was off the back of all the Angels who used the two-run shot
for a 5-3 win over Gilbertsville.
victory not only gave Stahley's the upper hand in the best-of-three series
that will resume today at 5 p.m. in
Scherersville, but it also snapped a six-game losing streak to Gilbertsville
that began in the regular season and playoff championship series last year.
Rangers swept the Angels for both the seasonal and playoff crowns a year
ago, but this time it'll be Stahley's looking for the broom after they
rallied from a 3-0 deficit last night.
"It's a great feeling to win, but it's an even better feeling because we
came back against a team we never have any luck against," Lutte said. "They
usually make incredible defensive plays against us and they had a few
tonight. But we finally got a couple of breaks."
Lutte thought for a moment that another Gilbertsville defensive gem would
spoil his shot into the right-center gap in the fifth. The deep rip came
after the Angels tied the game on Joe Aleszczyk's two- run single and a
guys have been telling me all year, especially Rick Wittman, that I should
try to go with the pitch to right-center because when I extend my arms I
have a lot of power that way," said Lutte, who hit 11 home runs -- all over
the fence so he could trot -- during the regular season.
backed off the plate and hit it hard, but their right fielder nearly caught
it. Thank God he missed it and it rolled away. From there on, it was like
`The Little Train That Could' with me on those bases."
Lutte, though huffing and puffing by the time he was mobbed at the plate,
completed his journey. So did Angels pitcher Matt Hlay ... but like Lutte,
it wasn't easy.
lanky righthander had just one 1-2-3 inning and seemed to be in constant
trouble. However, Hlay was able to slip away from most of the jams
yielded a first-inning, two-run home run by Greg Gilbert to left that took a
few limbs off trees at the Boyertown Junior High East complex. But after
that, the hard-hitting Rangers could only reach him for an unearned tally in
"With these guys, there's not an easy out," said Hlay, who wound up
scattering 10 hits. "They beat me last year 12-1 in the playoffs and that
was my only loss in the league. I came into that game with a 1.0 ERA and
they scored seven runs off me in the first two innings. So, I looked at this
as sort of my revenge game. They embarrassed me and I wasn't going to let it
just tried to mix it up with the changeup and slider and do what I could to
get out of those jams. At our field, it probably would have been a different
story since they hit a lot of long drives here that were caught. We hit some
long ones that were caught, too. I'm just glad this place was big enough to
hold that last one."
Indeed, with two on and two out in the bottom of the seventh,
Gilbertsville's John Yergey belted a high and deep fly to center. Wittman, a
fleet-footed fielder, raced back and hauled it in.
threw up his arms in jubilation, but he and the rest of the Angels know the
series is far from over.
guys came back and showed what they're made of," said Stahley's manager Ray
Ganser. "We're happy we won, but we're not celebrating too much. We know
they'll come back with their ace (Chris Ludy) and we'll have our work cut
out for us (today)."
Gilbertsville, league champs five of the last seven years, doesn't appear
ready to give up its crown without a fight.
"We'll be back," said Ranger manager Ryan Fox, whose team posted the Tri-Co's
best regular season mark at 25-5 in winning the South Division crown.
From The Morning Call --
August 3, 1991
The Morning Call