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 Thursday, August 22, 1991




BML's Limeport 1-up on Angels

Of The Morning Call

The old adage about nice guys finishing last certainly doesn't apply when it comes to Limeport catcher Andy Cichocki.

Cichocki's eight-year Blue Mountain League career could come to an end tonight and thanks to his team's come-from-behind 7-4 victory over Stahley's Angels last night in the opener of the Lehigh Valley Championship Series at Fegely Stadium, Cichocki could go out a champion.

Cichocki, the thirty-something Upper Perk High grad who is considered by many to be one of the classiest guys in local amateur baseball, had two hits and knocked in two runs to help the Dodgers take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series that resumes at 7:30 tonight in Limeport.

"I'm packing in it after this year because of work (in Radnor), the travel involved and we're having our first child in January ... there's too many things going on," Cichocki said. "But it's been really wonderful. I'm going to miss this place. I'd love to keep playing. I don't think I'm too old. Maybe, it's just time to grow up."

The Dodgers and their fans in the crowd of close to 500, were growing restless after watching Stahley's pull away to a 4-0 lead.

The Tri-County League champs picked up two runs in the first on Keith Brader's two-run single. The Angels padded it to 3-0 in the third when Brader walked, moved to third on Jeff Snyder's double and scored on a wild pitch. A pair of walks then set the stage for Rick Wittman's run-scoring single in the top of the fourth which gave Stahley's a four-run lead off struggling Dodgers' hurler Mike Norwood.

"I didn't have my good stuff, simple as that," Norwood said. "My fastball didn't have the pop it usually has and my curve was hanging. Once I got to the fourth and fifth innings, I felt myself getting looser and I was feeling more comfortable out there."

Norwood's improved comfort level might have had something to do with what happened in the bottom of the fourth when Limeport struck for five runs on just three hits. A walk and back-to-back singles by Dan Eckert and Cichocki produced the first run. A throwing error on a fielder's choice brought around another run and Mike Todaro's two- run single tied it.

Todaro, who moved to second on another bad throw, wound up scoring on the next play. Terry Sandercock grounded out to third, but the throw back across to get Todaro moving to third got away, allowing Todaro to scamper home.

Another error led to Cichocki's sacrifice fly in the fifth and yet another Stahley's miscue set up the final Dodger tally in the sixth.

"We had over a week off and we were a little flat," said Angels' manager Ray Ganser, who will send Ed Jones to the mound tonight. "It (the five errors) was uncharacteristic of us. I'm sure we'll be sharper tonight. You've got to give them credit. Mike (Norwood) struggled early for them, but he came back better than I thought he would."

Norwood, who yielded a whopping seven walks to go with six hits, left after two walks with one out in the seventh. Mike Anderson came on to get the last two outs on high bouncers to third.

"It seemed anti-climatic (coming off the BML title) early and everyone seemed flat," Cichocki said. "Fortunately, they got sloppy and we got a little charity. I think we'll be a lot crisper tonight. It's nice to win when you don't play well, but I don't think any of us are really pleased with our effort tonight."

Andy's younger brother, Tom, will take the mound tonight giving Limeport an all-Cichocki battery for the last time.

Should the series end tonight, one outstanding player will be given the Cliff Koch Award.


From The Morning Call -- August 22, 1991

Copyright 1991, The Morning Call