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 Saturday, July 3, 1999

SPORTS

 A-60 


 

Tri-City holds off Limeport 5-4 In Tri-County

The Fleetwings survive the 5th inning, and reliever Dennis Kinney gets the next 6 Bulls.



Of The Morning Call


 

The Tri-City Fleetwings may or may not overtake the ICC Pirates for the Tri-County League's East-Central Division championship -- and the best overall record and solitary bye when the playoffs roll around.

They will certainly make the playoffs, though. And, as they demonstrated Friday night with an exciting 5-4 victory over E-C Division rival Limeport at Fegely Stadium, they'll be well-armed and very dangerous when they do.

Forty-seven-year-old veteran lefty Dennis Kinney came on in relief of young lion Scott Bolasky with one out in the bottom of the fifth inning and, although he didn't have any luck with the first batter he faced, he had more than the next (and last) eight could handle.

Kinney came on to face catcher JonMichael Vito with the bases loaded and the Fleetwings (18-4) leading 5-2. He got Vito to hit a soft bouncer toward third. Third-sacker Justin Godusky charged hard and scooped up the ball -- but his off-balance throw to the plate was both late and wide of the mark. One run scored on the fielder's choice, another on the error, and suddenly it was a one-run game.

But Kinney fanned high-schooler Kyle Peters with his trademark down-and-in slider and retired Peters' brother, Chris, also a high school player, on a tap to the mound to end the inning.

He then set the Bulls (13-5) down in order in the sixth and seventh to nail down the win --and spoil an equally powerful relief performance by Limeport southpaw Chad Arnold, a flamethrower who's already a veteran but still a baby compared to Kinney.

Arnold picked up starter Mark Wojciechowski with runners at second and third and nobody out in the third, with Tri-City already leading 3-1. He blew away Matt Marks and Jeremy Arner --but Casey Paras got just enough of a heater to bloop it into short center and chase home the two runs that ultimately settled the outcome. Arnold then blanked the 'Wings on one hit over the final four frames.

Even though Kinney was back to doing what got him to the major leagues in the late 1970s (closing), he doesn't want to limit himself to that role, even though the 'Wings have more live arms than Carter has little liver pills.

"I'd like to keep getting my starts," he said. "I threw six innings Monday, so I was ready to come back (Friday). Yes, we should be well stocked for pitching when the playoffs get here."

Bolasky, who recently jumped over from Hellertown of the Blue Mountain League, and Jeff LaPorta, whose first priority remains the Royals but is double rostered, add pitching strength to a staff that was already loaded. Manager Bob Fatzinger can call upon other young guns like Matt Marcks, Myron Trunick and Jim Messick -- plus cagey vets like Ray Ganser, Mike Witkowski, Dan Waelchli and Dave Toth.

"There'll be enough innings to go around," said Fatzinger, whose sons, Teague and Joe, made up the right side of his infield. "Jeff's doing his pitching right now for Hellertown, but we'll have him set for the playoffs. And Ganser, Witkowski and Waelchli all pitch weekends in the mens Senior League. Danny (Waelchli) probably won't have enough innings to qualify for the playoffs, but he can still help us get there."

Dave Toth singled in a run for the 'Wings, and Brendan Witkowski had an RBI-double. Scott Heppenheimer singled in one Limport run, and Glenn Bubser's sacrifice fly accounted for another.



ted.meixell@mcall.com

 

From The Morning Call -- July 3, 1999

Copyright 1999, The Morning Call