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 Thursday, August 8, 1991




Limeport ousts Gilbertsville in Tri-Co

Of The Morning Call

Limeport AA player/manager Ishky Fatzinger says he wants to be a "20-20 man" before he hangs up his spikes.

Ishky is well into his fifth decade on this earth, but if fuzzy- faced 19-year left hander Chad Arnold continues to perform the way he did in eliminating perennial Tri-County League champion Gilbertsville, 5-1, from the Tri-Co semifinal playoffs at Fegely Stadium last night, his "skipper" shouldn't have any difficulty reaching that milestone.

Er, uh ... just what do you mean by "20-20 man," Ishky?

"Twenty years in the Blue Mountain League and 20 in Tri-County," the eldest of a quartet of Fatzingers still wearing Limeport livery said. "I played 20 in the Blue Mountain League (including three as the manager at Bath), and this is my 17th year here -- my 16th as manager."

Arnold, a reed-thin southpaw who did his high school and American Legion pitching at Southern Lehigh and Lower Macungie, respectively, teamed with former Liberty standout Chris Sule for a pitching 1-2 punch that led Northampton Community College to the Eastern Pennsylvania Collegiate Athletic Conference championship last fall.

This is his first year in Tri-Co. But last night against Gilbertsville, which had captured five of the league's last seven regular season titles and six of the last seven playoff crowns, he showed the poise -- and the stuff -- of a veteran.

Arnold held the Rangers (26-9) to just five hits, walked two (one intentionally) and punched out seven. Only once did Gilbertsville put two hits together in the same inning -- in the second, when it scored its only run on Jeff Evans' double and Tom Troutman's bloop single.

"What a super find," I. Fatzinger gushed when asked to assess Arnold's performance. "He's been doing that all year (en route to a 9-2 record). Our league doesn't record saves, but he must have at least seven, when he came in in the seventh inning and just blew it by people. He's a tough kid, a good prospect. He's trying to develop a changeup, but, basically, it's just power with him."

Arnold agreed, noting, "It's (fastball) all I ever really throw. I have a curve and a change, but I hardly ever throw the other stuff. I try to spot it the fastball, and it tails a lot."

What about the pressure you, as a mere 19-year old, must've felt going against a veteran, perennial champion like Gilbertsville?

"Most of my big wins came at college (NCC)," he said, shrugging. "We won the state title, so I've pitched in lots of big games. I didn't feel any special pressure. It's from being in that situation as often as I have. Sure, I get excited. But I keep it inside. If you let it show, the other team gets all over you."

The AA's (24-10) win advanced it into the playoff finals against either Silver Creek or Stahley's Angels, whose series is knotted at 1-1 and will conclude tonight at Scherersville. The finals are set to begin Saturday.

Naturally, no matter how well a pitcher performs, no team wins without producing some runs. Several guys did that for Limeport, which saddled Rangers' ace Chris Ludy with his first loss of the season after nine wins. One was another 19-year old, I. Fatzinger's nephew, Joe.

J. Fatzinger, who saw duty as a DH as a freshman at Temple last spring but is transferring to Allentown College, went 2-for-3 and scored the AA's first two runs. Tony Sneska was 2-for-4, one a towering solo home run to left-center in the fifth. And Arnold's batterymate, Jack Goddess, went 2-for-2 with a walk.

But the guy I. Fatzinger chose to single out was right fielder Chris Kernick, who went 3-for-4 (one a double) after a 3-for-3 performance in Limeport's 9-1 victory in Tuesday's series opener.

"He's playing hurt," the coach said, "he can hardly move. But he's playing with heart."

Stahley's Angels 8, Silver Creek 3 -- The Angels rallied for six runs in the seventh inning to beat Silver Creek yesterday, tying this Tri-County playoff series. The two teams meet again at 6 p.m. today in Scherersville to determine which will advance to the next round of playoffs.

Silver Creek led 3-2 going into the last frame before Greg Wotring singled in the tying run, Joe Alesczyk plated the go-ahead run and Dale Weiss hammered a grand slam home run to finish off Silver Creek.


From The Morning Call -- August 8, 1991

Copyright 1991, The Morning Call