East Texas puts an end to
Gilbertsville's Tri-County reign
Of The Morning Call
Perhaps it was fitting that on one of the brightest and sun-filled days of the
summer, a reign came to an end.
Gilbertsville's two-year reign as Tri-County League champions was halted as a
wild pitch allowed pinch-runner Raul Feliciano to scamper home in the bottom of
the seventh inning last night to give East Texas a come-from-behind 2-1 win over
the Rangers in the third and deciding game of their semifinal round playoff
hard-fought win, earned before a big East Texas crowd, sends the Longhorns
into the Tri-Co finals for the first time in their history. East Texas
(23-9) will face Silver Creek in Game 1 of the best-of-five title series
tomorrow night in Springtown.
feels great to be finally going to the championship series," said Longhorn
player-manager George Horn, who has been in the league since 1977. "This is
the best team I've had in the 17 years I've been in this league. Up and down
the lineup, there's not a bad player. And the pitching has been strong."
pitching on both sides was superb last night. Both East Texas hurler Troy
Phillips and Gilbertsville right-hander Derek Witman unfurled four-hitters.
with one out in the bottom of the seventh, Witman served up a triple to deep
center by the Longhorns' Scott Godshalk -- a shot that Ranger center fielder
Jeff Chillot just missed nabbing with a diving attempt.
count was 3-1 and (Witman) was throwing me curveballs all day," said
Godshalk. "I was trying to stay disciplined. He grooved a fastball and,
luckily, I hit it well. I'm not the fastest runner, so I was trying to run
as fast as I could. I wasn't watching the ball."
Chillot watched the series-winning run from the dugout since Horn removed
him for speedy pinch-runner Feliciano. Gilbertsville lefthander Bob Drumbore
came on and kept Feliciano at third with a called third strike to Ted Young.
But Drumbore's first delivery to Tim Brader bounced off the plate and soared
high up against the backstop.
Gilbertsville catcher Mike Moyer nearly had a play on the sliding Feliciano
since the ball bounced back to the plate. But Moyer couldn't corral the
bouncing ball and tag Feliciano fast enough.
didn't want to hang a curveball on the first pitch, so I left it a little
short and it hit the plate," said Drumbore. "It was just one of those
things. We almost had a shot at the runner.
"This was a good game. Both teams played well. You try to catch a break here
or there and take advantage of it. They did. No one likes losing. We still
have baseball to play since we go into the York Invitational Tournament over
Labor Day weekend. Still, this season ended three wins sooner than we wanted
Gilbertsville, which finished 25-8 after being Tri-Co champs seven times in
the last 10 years, scored first in the fifth with the aid of one of
Phillips' few mistakes all night.
Brensinger laid down a bunt single and reached second when Phillips came off
the mound to field the ball and threw it out of play down the right-field
line. Brensinger moved up to third on Marty Bauer's single and scored on
Brian Miller's fielder's choice.
Texas got the equalizer in the sixth courtesy of its speedy leadoff man Matt
Moore. Moore, who had half of his team's four hits, slashed a single off the
Gilbertsville shortstop's glove. He stole second, hustled to third on a
groundout and raced home on Mike Merkel's sacrifice fly to shallow center.
was then up to Phillips to keep the Rangers at bay until Godshalk and fate
provided the game-winner in the seventh. Phillips struck out seven and
retired the final seven hitters he faced.
"That was the best I pitched all year," said the 1991 Kutztown High grad,
who also pitches in the Optimist League in the Reading area. "I was just
hitting the corners with my fastball.
like the pressure of a big game. I like it when the game is on the line. I
was still strong. I wanted to stay in there and win because this is a great
group of guys." And that "great group of guys" is headed to the finals.
Silver Creek 5, Stahley's Bar 0
-- The Raiders completed a two-game sweep in the best-of-three semifinal
round series yesterday in Cetronia after tying Stahley's Bar the previous
night over nine innings.
Silver Creek eliminated Stahley's Bar and moves on to play East Texas in a
best-of-5 championship series.
Dylan Dando, the team's third starter, pitched a two-hitter while fanning
three and walking three. He gave up single hits in the fourth and sixth
hitters for the winners were Mike Drumbore, who went 3-for-4 with a run
scored; Dave Hartranft, who had three hits and scored twice, and Darren
Sutton, who had two hits.
From The Morning Call --
August 8, 1994
The Morning Call