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 Wednesday, June 13, 2001




Tri-Co showdown ends without winner

First-place Tri-City rallies from three down to tie second-place Gabelsville.

Of The Morning Call


Neither Tri-City nor Gablesville was completely satisfied by Tuesday night's 3-3 tie at Scherersville in a Tri-County League game halted by darkness.

But because of the way the game was tied, the first-place Fleetwings (11-1) were feeling a whole lot better about it than the second-place Owls (7-2).

"No question about that," mused Owls manager Mike "Doc" Moyer after the defending champs surrendered a 3-0 lead. "We let one get away from us. [Tri-City] is a good baseball team, and this was a good game. But a couple of plays we needed to make but didn't, both offensively and defensively, cost us a couple runs. And a win.

"It's early, so this wasn't a must-win game or anything, but from their standpoint, their young kids are trying to prove they can play with us. They're feeling good about themselves and playing good ball."

"Doc's right," agreed manager Bob Fatzinger. "They're the champs; they're always the team to beat. You want to know you can play with the best, so this is important to our kids. And we battled back and had a shot to win it at the end."

The contest, which will be replayed in its entirity, didn't feature an overabundance of hitting or scoring -- but it did feature three titanic solo home runs, two by Gabelsville's Dave Pence and Greg Gilbert, the other by Tri-City's Dan Dillon.

Pence's opposite-field shot lead off the second and put the Owls on top. They made it 2-0 when ageless Bob Graber reached on an error, went to second on a groundout and scored on Jeff Chillot's single to center. Gilbert, leading off the third, made it 3-0. His bolt cleared the left-field fence and landed at shortstop on an adjacent softball field that begins about 50 feet beyond the fence.

But that would be the Owls' last hit, as 'Wings' starter Josh Gunkle settled nicely into a good rhythm. Myron Trunick added a hitless seventh.

Tri-City finally broke through against Gabelsville ace Shawn Betz in the fifth on a single by Paul Santay, Scott Garger and Jeremy Arner. And Dillon's one-out rocket to center in the sixth made it 3- 2.

With one out in the seventh, Arner and Ryan Palos singled, with Arner racing to third and Palos taking second on the throw to third. Brendan Witkowski belted a sacrifice fly to right to forge the tie.

The 'Wings got a shot to win it, loading the bases when Teague Fatzinger reached on catcher's interference and Dillon walked. But Betz retired Matt Hlay on a pop to short.

Noting that his club committed an uncharacteristic three errors, Fatzinger said, "I guess we're happier with the outcome than they are. But those were plays we've been making all year long, even though they only cost us one run."

Gabelsville    021 000 0 -- 3 6 2

Tri-City          000 011 1 -- 3 8 3

Shawn Betz and Dave Pence; Josh Gunkle, Myron Trunick (7) and Jeremy Arner. HR -- G: Pence (2nd, 0 on); Greg Gilbert (3rd, 0 on); TC: Dan Dillon (6th, 0 on).


From The Morning Call -- June 13, 2001

Copyright 2001, The Morning Call