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 Sunday, August 17, 1997

SPORTS

 C-3 


 

Kinney blanks Gabelsville to give Limeport the edge

4-hit victory gives Bulls chance to repeat as Tri-Co champions tonight.




Of The Morning Call


 

If Dennis Kinney has learned one thing during his lengthy baseball career it's that you can't look back at what happened yesterday.

Which is why when the one-time major-leaguer took the mound for Limeport Saturday afternoon in the third game of the Tri-County League championship series at Gabelsville, the last thing on his mind was the confusing events of the previous night, when an umpire's decision to start an inning in the rapidly descending darkness turned an apparent Bulls' victory into a controversial tie.

"I wasn't here to put my two cents in whether to play (the seventh inning) or not, but one thing I've learned is that what's past is past and you can't look back," said the ageless left-hander after his masterful four-hitter led Limeport to a 4-0 victory and to the brink of its second straight title. "You just can't dwell on what happened yesterday."

"It was annoying, but we knew we had to get by it," echoed teammate Jeff Sabo, who gave Kinney all the support he would need with a fourth-inning two-run home run.

Kinney, who also won the series opener, sat down the first 13 Owls before losing his perfect game bid by plunking Bob Drumbore with a 2-0 breaking ball. Then, after Kinney struck out Greg Miller, Mike Drumbore snapped his no-hit bid, slapping a base hit past a diving Glenn Kushma and into left field.

"It was an 0-2 slider I wanted in the dirt, but it stayed up," Kinney, who walked none and struck out six, said of the pitch.

Kinney struck out Ken Renninger to strand the brothers, then gave up three singles in the last two innings -- including another by Mike Drumbore -- before preserving the shutout by getting pinch-hitter Matt Danner to bounce into a game-ending forceout with Owls at the corners.

"Taking nothing away from Kinney, but we've only got one or two guys producing right now, and you're not going to win many games with only a couple of guys hitting the ball," Gabelsville manager Mike Moyer said.

"And the way we played today is a major disappointment. I put the effort in, Jeff Evans put the effort in, even my wife put the effort in looking up rules last night to give us a chance today. Then we come in and play half-speed."

Gabelsville's Kevin Sproull was nearly as effective as Kinney, allowing just six hits and striking out seven in 6-1/3 innings. But two pitches were the difference between the two -- a belt-high, full-count fastball Sabo drilled over the right-center field fence following the game's only error, and a seventh-inning hanging change-up Josh Williams belted over the 400-foot sign in straight-away center for another two-run shot.

"We didn't hit the way we were capable of, but with Dennis on the mound two runs is usually enough to get by," Sabo said.

Limeport can now wrap up its repeat title at 7:30 tonight in the friendly confines of Fegely Stadium, with the Bulls' Rob Schultz going against Bob Drumbore. Had the umpires not stretched Friday's game, Kinney might've clinched that himself last night at Limeport.

"Perhaps," the 45-year-old Kinney acknowledged, "but like I said, that's baseball. And this still isn't done. We could easily be coming back down here Tuesday for a fifth game."



jeff.schuler@mcall.com

  

From The Morning Call -- August 17, 1997

Copyright 1997, The Morning Call