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 Wednesday, August 11, 1993




Silver Creek goes 1-up in Tri-Co final series

Of The Morning Call

After getting the third out of each half-inning, Silver Creek pitcher Jason Young takes off in a full-fledged sprint to the dugout as if someone is chasing him.

Gilbertsville tried chasing Young last night, but could never catch him or the Raiders and fell 4-3 in the opening game of the Tri- County League Championship Series.

Silver Creek, bidding for its first Tri-Co title since 1974, can take a 2-0 stranglehold on the best-of-five series when it travels to Gilbertsville at 5:45 tonight.

"This was a big win for us because we had lost all three games to them during the regular season and in the three years I've been here, I think this is just our second win against them," said the left-handed Young, a 1990 Easton High grad. "I think we have an advantage in pitching because we have four good starters and they only have two, maybe three legitimate starters."

The hitting edge probably belongs to the defending champion Rangers. Young took that edge away most of last night by keeping Gilbertsville off-stride through the first four innings as Silver Creek (27-6) built a 4-0 lead.

The Raiders got two runs in both the second and third innings. Jeff Trenberth accounted for the deuce in the second with a controversial two-run, two-out home run to right.

Gilbertsville's outfielders contended the ball hit at the base of the fence and hopped through a hole. Base umpire Eric Charles disagreed and waved Trenberth around the bases while the Rangers protested.

"I wasn't sure what happened," Trenberth said. "I just saw the rightfielder running back for the ball and I was hustling to get a double out of it. I wasn't sure if it went out. But if the umpire says it's a home run, it's a home run."

"Since I'm the catcher, I hardly had a good view of it," said Gilbertsville player-manager Mike Moyer. "But it sure seemed like it bounced at the base of the fence and went through. If you go out there and look, you'll see there's a hole. Our outfielders reacted right away like it was a ground-rule double. But hey, we're not going to cry about that one play. No sour grapes here."

The night soured for the Rangers even more in the third when Chris Rios singled to left for one run and Matt Smull blooped a hit to right for another to make it 4-0.

Gilbertsville (26-10) finally got on the board in the fifth when cleanup man Jeff Evans, who struck out in his first two trips, jumped on a 2-0 fastball and sent it well over the left-field fence with a runner aboard to slice the Raider lead in half.

The Rangers tightened the gap even further in the sixth when Jeff Pinder led off with a home run. Gilbertsville then put runners at second and third with two out before Young got Marty Bauer on a grounder to avert further trouble.

Still, Young couldn't relax with Gilbertsville's No. 3, No. 4 and No. 5 hitters due up in the seventh.

"I thought we had a chance to get a run or two in the seventh because it looked like Young was tiring," Moyer said. "He had been struggling a little with his control. But he settled down and handled us in the seventh. He deserved a lot of credit."

Young admitted he was tiring, but found his second wind in the seventh. It showed as he got Ryan Fox and Evans on shallow flyballs and fanned Bob Drumbore with a 3-2 fastball.

"I had the adrenaline going," Young said. "I felt a little tired in the fifth and sixth, but I was too pumped up to let anything bad happen in the seventh. I didn't want to let it get away. I really had handled the heart of their order all night except for the 2-0 pitch down the middle that Evans hit out. Against Drumbore, I wasn't going to give in."

Gilbertsville, Tri-Co champs six times in the last nine years, certainly won't give in after losing the opener.

"We'll come back with Derek Witman and just hope we can get the bats going," Moyer said. "It's important for us to get the next one."

Silver Creek manager Steve Smull, who will start Greg Crouthamel tonight, isn't ready to pop the champagne corks just yet.

"It's still anyone's series," Smull said. "It was important for us to win this one just to prove we can beat them and build some confidence. We were 0-3 against them and 24-3 against the rest of the league this season. Hopefully, it will snowball from here, but we know nothing is going to come easy."


From The Morning Call -- August 11, 1993

Copyright 1993, The Morning Call