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 Friday, May 7, 1993




Tri-County League begins play this weekend

Of The Morning Call

As last summer drew to a close, the Gilbertsville Rangers established themselves as one of the Lehigh Valley's most dominant amateur baseball teams, maybe ever.

In their Tri-County League championship series, the Rangers breezed past Emmaus in three straight games for their third league title in four years and sixth since 1984. Then, amid the controversy surrounding the Lehigh Valley Championship Series, the Rangers stood tall.

They handled Blue Mountain League representative Banko's in two games to conclude a marvelous 34-4 summer.

Can the Rangers repeat their record-setting 27-3 journey through the Tri-Co regular season last year?

Not likely. But nobody would want to bet against them either.

Clearly, the Rangers remain the team to beat as the 1993 Tri- County season gets under way with games tomorrow and Sunday.

Again, the 13-team league is divided into two divisions. The North features six teams and will play 29 regular-season games, while the South has seven members and plays 30 seasonal contests. The top three teams in each division qualify for the playoffs, slated to begin July 31.

Here's a team-by-team outlook:


East Texas is coming off an 11-18 season and has gone back to the past to brighten the future. 1992 Hall of Fame inductee Nick Motolese has come out of retirement to join the Longhorns. He should bolster an offense featuring Julio Lebron (.319, 17 RBI) and player/manager George Horn. Dan Hayes (4-3), Mark Somers (4-4) and Tim Brader (2-2) anchor the pitching staff.

Havilland hopes to go a step further this year after going 14-15 and bowing out in the first-round of the playoffs in '92. Manager Dave Snyder looks to Rich Gaugler (.374) and Juan Zayas (.321) to key the offense, while Phil Torcivia (5-2) figures to be the ace of the pitching staff.

The ICC Pirates are coming off an 8-21 season and look to Chris Medei (.350) and Garen Danyi (.282, 15 RBI) to spark the offense. Manager Jim Marouchoc is hoping for Mike Brosious (2-3) and Keith Reiss (3-4) to provide consistency on the mound.

The defending North Division champion Limeport Bulls (20-9) will once again be guided by one of the game's all-time great warriors, player-manager Ishky Fatzinger. His son Bill Fatzinger (.387, 23 RBI) and veteran slugger Mike Kotkoski (5 HR, 20 RBI) figure to provide offensive punch. Veteran hurler Bruce Alpaugh (7-3) and Brett Fristick (5-1) lead a mound staff that will be bolstered by the addition of former San Diego Padre reliever Dennis Kinney.

The South Whitehall Serpents will try to bounce back from a 12-17 season in which they missed the playoffs for the first time in the nine-year history of the team. Player-manager Chuck Mondschein has several key returning pitchers in Stu Link (4-2, 1.70 ERA), Jim Emerick and Randy Baer. Offensively, the Serpents figure to be led by Marc Bolesky (.347, 13 RBI), Lou Falco (.308) and Randy Remaly.

Stahley's Angels nearly ended Gilbertsville's title bid a year ago, battling the Rangers in three tough games in the playoff semis before falling. The Angels, 16-13 last year, look to soar to the top of the North again with Mansfield standout Tony Galucy (.371, 21 RBI) and veteran slugger Dave Lutte (4 HR, 21 RBI) pacing the offense.

On the mound, pitcher-manager Ray Ganser will lead the way. Bob Schleicher (2.65 ERA, 64 Ks) and Mike Witkowski (5-0) figure to give the team arm depth.


Cetronia has changed its nickname from Blue Jays to White Sox. The club also hopes to change its record around after going 10-20 last year. The Sox feature last year's batting champ, Todd Greb (.457, 5 HR, 25 RBI) and hard-hitting first baseman Joe Sedler (.318, 4 HR, 20 RBI). The pitching staff is led by All-Star Tom Laury (2.88 ERA) and the infield should be improved with the addition of second baseman Kyle Weida, a former Emmaus Brave.

The Emmaus Braves went all the way to the finals a year ago and should be even stronger with the addition of league MVP, Ray Thompson, who comes to Emmaus from Silver Creek. Thompson hit .414 with six HR and 35 RBI. Dave Hartranft (.381), Kyle Fisher (.376) and Ted Steiner (.372) were all solid performers last year for Emmaus, which went 20- 10. Dave Arndt (4-1, 2.60) and Steve Rau (6-3) provide steady arms.

Although Emmaus and several clubs will be gunning for them, the Gilbertsville Rangers show no signs of a letdown. First-year manager Mike Moyer has the horses to contend again with two-time pitching MVP Chris Ludy (8-1, 0.99 ERA), Tom Hartman (7-1, 1.58) and Bob Drumbore (5-1) heading the mound staff. Offensively, Jeff Evans (.395, 6 HR, 33 RBI), All-Star shortstop Greg Gilbert (.375, 4 HR, 20 RBI) and Bob Drumbore (.439, 4 HR and 25 RBI) lead the way.

The Milford Pioneers look to improve on a 5-25 record last season. Long-time sidewinder Don Rosenberger and lefty Streeter Stuart (1.50) anchor the pitching staff. Todd Cleaver (.343, 2 HR and 13 RBI) and Mike Andre (.326) will spark the offense for the Pioneers who were the first winners of the Don Turoscy Award for sportsmanship last season.

Coming off a 12-18 season, the Quakertown Orioles look to fight for a .500 record and a playoff berth this summer. Second-year manager Bob Ornosky will be counting on Bill Myers (65 Ks) as his top pitcher. Dependable shortstop Kevin Kershner (.344, 2 HR, 14 RBI) and Todd Mosteller (.302) hope to jump-start the offense.

Silver Creek looks to return to the playoffs with standout returnees Joe Cuvo (.432) and Brook Mellman (.392). Newcomers Darren "Boo" Sutton, Dan Roth, Mike Drumbore, John Mattes and Craig Geiger should add some sock to the Raider lineup. On the mound, Jason Young (5-3, 2.27) and Greg Serensits (4-2, 4.32) should provide stability, while other newcomers like Dylan Dando may add depth as the Raiders look to duplicate or better their 19-11 mark of a year ago.

The Upper Perk Chiefs have a new man in charge of their tee-pee as Todd Swenk has replaced long-time manager Bob Graber at the helm. Graber will still play and that's good news for UP since he hit .419 with five homers and 18 RBI last season. Joe Ricapito (.403, 5 HR, 29 RBI) adds hitting punch, while Scott Schoenly (7-6, 61 Ks) figures to be the mound workhorse after tossing a league-leading 76.2 innings last season.


From The Morning Call -- May 7, 1993

Copyright 1993, The Morning Call