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 Thursday, August 19, 1993

SPORTS

 C-3 


 

Gilbertsville nails down another Tri-County title




Of The Morning Call



In becoming the Tri-County League's premier team over the past decade, the Gilbertsville Rangers haven't needed any help.

But in nailing down their seventh title in the last 10 years with a 5-1 victory over Silver Creek last night in Springtown, the Rangers may have received a huge assist from Mother Nature.

Back-to-back postponements Monday and Tuesday because of rain allowed veteran hurlers Tom Hartman and Bob Drumbore to gain two extra days of rest. The two pitchers then put the Raider bats to rest last night, combining for a three-hitter in the fifth and final game of the best-of-five series.

"I don't know if the days off really helped, but I felt very strong out there," said Drumbore, who came on with two out in third after Hartman suffered a leg injury. "Maybe the rain was a blessing in a sense. But then again, their pitchers got some extra rest, too. I guess it helped us a little more than them."

Nothing seemed to help Silver Creek over the past few days as the Raiders were swept three straight after grabbing a 2-0 lead in games in the series. They even led 2-1 entering the sixth inning of Game 3.

"We had them down 2-0 and thought we had them put away," said Silver Creek player-manager Steve Smull. "We didn't finish them off. There's no excuses here. They won it fair and square. I wish it didn't rain the last two days, though. It gave Hartman and Drumbore some extra rest and they didn't have to come up with a No. 3 pitcher against us. But hey, they earned it."

The Rangers may have earned the title, but they sure were given their share of free passes early. Four walks produced a Gilbertsville run in the top of the first.

Silver Creek, limited to just four runs in the last three games, evened it up with a run in bottom of the first when Brook Mellman doubled and Chris Rios singled him home.

But things began to unravel for the Raiders in the second when a dropped fly ball and three more walks led to two more runs.

Silver Creek had its best chance to get back in it in the third when with two out Hartman hit Rios with a pitch and walked Dan Roth. At that point, Hartman pulled a muscle in his leg and Drumbore came on. Darren Sutton greeted him with a sizzling liner to left, but it was hit right at Ranger left-fielder Jeff Chillot, who snared it.

From there, Drumbore was dominant. He retired nine in a row before Matt Smull led off the seventh with a single. But Smull never reached second as Drumbore retired the final three to begin another champagne celebration for the Gilbertsville gang.

"In the five or six years that I've been playing here, this is the first time we had to go to a fifth and final game to win a title," said Ranger player-manager Mike Moyer. "You never get tired of winning championships.

"Drumbore was really on tonight and he deserves a lot of credit. The rain helped him a little bit, but he was hitting his spots and throwing hard. If we had played Monday night, we would have probably only had Drummy for just an inning. Instead, we got to use him much more."

Offensively, Greg Gilbert and Marty Bauer -- the top two guys in the Ranger lineup -- were the keys last night. Gilbert had three hits, while Bauer homered in the fourth and added an RBI single in the fifth.

"We could have scored more runs than we did," Moyer said. "We left the bases loaded in both the first and second innings.

"We were a little concerned early, plus we were without (normal cleanup hitter) Jeff Evans who had a previous commitment. Being without Jeff, we could have been in trouble. But we did the things we had to do. We took advantage of the walks, got some key hits. Of course, with our pitching, we didn't have to get too many runs."

While winning championships are always sweet, Drumbore enjoyed last night's performance for one more special reason -- he beat his brother's team. Mike Drumbore, Bob's younger brother, had been Silver Creek's third baseman much of the season.

Because he had to return to Shippensburg University early, Mike wasn't able to be there for last night's season finale, but big brother was going to be sure to let him know the final score.

"I don't know if The Morning Call makes it out to Shippensburg, so I better give Mike a call," Drumbore said. "It'll be worth the quarter for me to let him know who won the series."



keith.groller@mcall.com

  

From The Morning Call -- August 19, 1993

Copyright 1993, The Morning Call