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 Tuesday, August 7, 1991




Silver Creek stuns Angels

Of The Morning Call

Stahley's had a bit of a letdown and visiting Silver Creek didn't let up during a five-run fourth inning in the Raiders' 6-1 Tri- County League playoff win last night.

The second game in the best-of-three series will begin at 6 p.m. today in Springtown.

The Angels captured their first-ever, Tri-Co championship Sunday with a win over Gilbertsville and, naturally, were suffering a post- hampionship depression of sorts.

A pair of crucial Angel errors made all of Silver Creek's runs unearned and Raiders pitcher Nate Stannard quieted the thunderous Stahley's bats to the tune of five hits, no walks and seven strikeouts.

"They were just a shadow of themselves tonight," said Silver Creek manager and left fielder Steve Smull. "I think this was a letdown situation for them after a big victory over Gilbertsville."

Angel's manager Ray Ganser agreed.

"Sure, you come off that, you want to win and play hard, but ... . We were missing some of our guys tonight and we got our heads down once they got those runs."

Stahley's went ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the first. With one out, Mike Witkowski reached base on one of four Silver Creek errors. He was plated by Dale Weiss' double to deep center. Weiss moved to third on a wild pitch, but was cut down at the plate after a short-first-home double play.

Silver Creek retaliated with a run in the third. Brook Mellman hit a bloop single to right. Next batter Chris Rios hit into a would-be double play on a grounder to third, but the ball skipped out of the second baseman's glove. That put Mellman at third for Matt Smull's run-scoring fielder's choice.

A double play later got Stahley's pitcher Bob Schleicher out of further damage in that inning.

But, the southpaw out of Dieruff High, who allowed an uncharacteristic nine walks while striking out only two, was in trouble again in the fourth.

A walk to Jeff Trenberth and single by Jon Ference turned into a second and third situation after a sacrifice by Steve Smull. Mellman then fanned, but Rios' slicing ball to right was dropped by a charging Mookie Smith, allowing two runs to score. That opened the flood gates as Matt Smull followed with a single and Dave Hartranft clubbed a three-run homer to left.

Singles by Chris O'Conner and Bill Krchnavy and a walk to Trenberth set the stage for more trouble, but Ference popped out to first.

"We'll take the runs," said Steve Smull, whose team has not been in the playoffs since 1979. "We're here to win and go all the way if we can."

Smull knows the Angels' letdown won't last long.

The teams finished with the same regular-season record and split their two match-ups with Silver Creek winning 18-0 at home and Stahley's winning 10-2 at home.

"They'll come to play tomorrow. Ray will have them motivated," said Smull.

Stannard had seen action in only a few Raiders games this season, all in relief. But he has started and won two games during the playoffs.

"This is my biggest game and also my best," said the 19-year-old Stannard, who went 5-6 for a Saylorsburg team which won just eight Blue Mountain League games this year.

"I was mixing my pitches really well. I was getting my curveball over for a strike and they were chasing the slider. I was also keeping them off balance with a change-up," he said.

Ganser said, "That game, with any luck, could have been 0-0. But that doesn't take anything away from Nate. He pitched a real good game."

Limeport 9, Gilbertsville 1 -- Bruce Alpaugh tossed a three-hitter and Limeport used a six-run second inning to take an early 8-1 lead, then coasted to this Tri-County League semifinal playoff victory.

Limeport, the Northern Division runners-up, can knock the Southern Division champions out of the playoffs by winning tonight's second game (7:30 p.m.) at Fegely Stadium.


From The Morning Call -- August 7, 1991

Copyright 1991, The Morning Call