Silver Creek prevails in
Tri-Co contenders' battle 3-2
Of The Morning Call
was "Allentown College Night" in Springtown last night as two Centaur hurlers --
Eric Baran and Eric Steckel -- turned the ICC-Silver Creek Tri-County game into
a crisp pitcher's duel.
Fittingly, another Allentown College product decided the "Eric Epic" as Chris
Gordon homered and helped produce two runs to give Steckel and the Creek a 3-2
win in the battle of Tri-Co contenders.
Steckel, an Easton High grad who will be a senior at Allentown College in
the fall, wound up with a five-hitter as Silver Creek improved to 25-4 with
one game left in the Tri-Co regular season.
the turnaround team in the league this year, dipped to 17-10, but is still
assured of the first playoff berth in team history.
Baran, a Freedom High grad who will also be a senior at Allentown College,
has been one of the main players responsible for the Pirates' rise from
powder puff to playoff power.
night, the diminutive righthander yielded just four hits over five hits, but
two of them were to his friend Gordon.
Gordon, a catcher who knows both Baran and Steckel about as well as anyone,
cracked a bases-empty home run to left in the second inning. Then with the
game tied at one in the bottom of the fifth, Gordon got things started with
a single to right. He was sacrificed to second and left for pinch-runner
Dando scored on Jason Erschen's bloop, two-out hit to right to make it 2-1.
The Raiders then tacked on what proved to be the game-winning run against
Creek reliever Marty Rowan in the sixth when Dave Hartranft, Mike Drumbore
and Chris Rios all singled.
Gordon wasn't surprised the game belonged to the pitchers.
thing with Eric Baran is that you've got to be patient with him," said
Gordon, a Northampton grad who will be yet another senior at Allentown
College in the fall. "He's got three different curveballs that are all
great. I got lucky with a low curveball for the home run. I just got a good
piece of it.
three of us -- Steckel, Baran and I -- all know each other well. We played
against one another in the East Penn Conference and we've been together at
Allentown College for a couple of years. Both of those guys have great
Steckel's stuff was just slightly better than Baran's as he walked just one,
struck out eight and didn't give up more than one hit in any inning. ICC got
to him for a run on Dave Medei's double in the third and closed the gap with
a tally in the seventh when Ron Reybitz hit a sacrifice fly.
the Pirates couldn't stick Steckel.
"Everything was working except the split-finger," Steckel said. "So, I
relied on sliders mostly and my fastball was better than usual. I've been
battling tendinitis because I pitched so much for Allentown (College). I
pitched 76 innings, mostly on three days' rest. But my record in this league
is 7-0 and I'm pleased.
used to getting a little more offensive support, but Baran pitched well.
Fortunately, our defense played well and we got enough big hits to win it."
Steckel says the Raiders are looking forward to the playoffs again and a
possible rematch with Gilbertsville in the finals. Silver Creek squandered a
2-0 series lead last year and Gilbertsville won the crown in five games.
may come down to us and Gilbertsville again," Steckel said. "We beat them
twice during the regular season, so we feel we can play with anybody."
feels the same way, although the Pirates will be newcomers to the postseason
"We've had the core of the team together for the last few years and we've
gradually improved," said ICC manager Jim Marouchoc. "We've just added
pieces to the puzzle each year. It's a good group of guys. We're always
there. We never quit. We'll be going into the playoffs with a lot of
confidence and won't back down against anybody."
From The Morning Call --
July 23, 1994
The Morning Call