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 Wednesday, August 14, 1996




Limeport goes 1 up on Woody's

Josh Williams hurls 1-hitter in Tri-County League Finals opener.

Of The Morning Call

Asked to sum up his team's 3-1 loss to host Limeport in the opening game of the Tri-County League Championship Series last night, Woody's player-coach Dave Lutte shrugged and said, "Josh just threw a helluva game."

The "Josh" was Bulls' righthander Josh Williams, who unfurled an impressive one-hitter in giving his club a 1-0 lead in the best-of-5 series that resumes at 5:45 tonight at Scherersville.

"Josh is a competitor, a real tough kid," Lutte said. "He shut us down. Our guy (Bob Schleicher) threw a good game, we just didn't help him out. Josh had great location. He seemed to be able to put the ball where he wanted it, too."

Limeport, in the Tri-Co finals for a second straight year, jumped on top in the bottom of the first. Williams and Kevin Kershner singled and scored on Bill Fatzinger's single to right.

"(Schleicher) gave me a curveball down and in and I was able to pull it down the first-base line," said Fatzinger, Limeport's player-manager. "Most lefty hitters like the ball down and in. He made me look stupid on my next two at-bats, but luckily that time turned out well for me. We knew it was big because Schleicher's a tough pitcher. We knew it wasn't going to be a high-scoring game."

Limeport (27-9) didn't have many big hits the rest of the night. The Bulls had 10 hits, but left the bases loaded in the first and stranded two runners each in the third, fifth and sixth.

Limeport's only other run came in the fifth when Glenn Bubser reached on an error and scored on Scott Heppenheimer's two-out single.

That was all Williams needed as the Central Catholic and Allentown College product notched four 1-2-3 innings.

His lone struggle came in the fourth when walks to Jeff Snyder and Tony Galucy and a single by Dale Weiss -- the lone Woody's hit -- loaded the bases with one out. Dave Toth brought Snyder home with a sacrifice fly to left, but that was all the Mariners (27-12) would get off the hard-throwing righthander.

"It was a big game and I just wanted to come out and throw strikes," said Williams, who struck out six and walked four. "I was just hitting spots. I had a lot of help from the bench calling pitches. "They hit me around a couple of weeks ago, scoring six runs in about three innings. Last time I was getting behind in the count. Tonight, I wanted to get ahead of them."

And Fatzinger, whose team fell behind in its previous playoff series against ICC, was happy to get the series opener this time.

"This is a big win," Fatzinger said. "I didn't want to fall behind in this series. I couldn't sleep well after we lost Game 1 last time. It's definitely better than being down 1-0. It's going to be a long series, though. Woody's has a good, experienced team. We're certainly not thinking sweep by any means."

And actually, the first game loss is a good omen for Woody's, which fell in series openers against Silver Creek and Center Valley and came back to win the series each time.

But in Game 2 this time, Limeport will probably start Dennis Kinney, the rubber-armed lefty who has been almost unhittable in the playoffs.

"If I had Dennis Kinney, I'd use him all the time; in fact, we were a little surprised we didn't see him tonight," Lutte said. "We know we'll see him in the next game. It's going to be tough, but we've bounced back before and we hope to do it again."


From The Morning Call -- August 14, 1996

Copyright 1996, The Morning Call