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 Saturday, July 7, 2001




Blue Mountain stars get unexpected help to rip Tri-County stars

The winners make good use of Tri-County errors to coast to a 13-7 victory in the annual game.

Of The Morning Call


The Blue Mountain and Tri-County All-Stars on Friday played their annual base ball game -- the two-word version -- not baseball, as those 20th-century purists would have one believe.

And the Blue Mountain All-Stars took it from the error-plagued Tri- County group, 13-7, in the antiquated, homely Limeport Stadium, which still resonates today in all its Depression-era glory, 68 years after farmer Howard "Lefty" Fegely decided to build a field for his Limeport Milkmen squad.

In this jewel of a ballpark, complete with its original forest green wooden seats, an eight-foot wooden fence that encircles the outfield and a seemingly anachronistic electric scoreboard, there are a few bad seats; Fegely placed foundation beams throughout the stands, which reach only behind home plate and down to first and third bases.

The center-field wall, beyond a shield of the American flag and shrubbery, extends 485 feet, surpassing the once-mighty Polo Grounds in distance. A large, rising hill extends that length; Fegely couldn't afford the landscaping to level it out.

Needless to say, no one approached that fence, or the shrubs for that matter, although Blue Mountain right fielder Scot Engler took one deep over the considerably shorter left-field wall in the top of the eighth.

"I knew it was going when I hit it," Engler said. "The pitcher, he just left a curve ball high.

"This was the last field I needed to park one in," the Lower Nazareth right fielder added, noting that he accomplished the feat in a league game against Limeport Monday evening, rocking a 400-foot shot over the 374 mark in right-center field.

Tri-County catcher Todd Litts nearly duplicated Engler's feat in the bottom of the inning, but his shot sailed just right of the right- field foul pole. He instead settled for a long single, a liner down the left-field line.

Alas, Litts' hit proved meaningless, as his team already trailed by eight, a hole it had dug itself much earlier in the game.

While the 400-plus fans, many of whom have outlasted this stadium, expected to see old-fashioned, All-Star baseball, Tri-County succeeded only in making the practice of fielding seem archaic and outdated.

"Too many errors, too many unearned runs," Tri-County manager Shawn Andrews said. "You just can't do that, not when you're going against the league's best.

"I don't know how many runs were unearned," he added, "but if you take away those, you're looking at a pretty good game."

Seven Tri-County errors -- five throwing, two fielding -- through the first four innings sealed the game.

In the top of the fourth, with Blue Mountain up 4-2, catcher Frank Riefsnyder led off with a walk from Tri-County pitcher Myron Trunnick. Right fielder Omar Torres then misplayed a short fly ball by third baseman Scott Thomas, and shortstop Greg Gilbert followed with a throw that sailed over first baseman Eric Schmitt's head.

Blue Mountain shortstop Andy Pitsilos followed with a triple to deep center (the farthest hit of the day), and second baseman Tom Stoudt added a bloop single to center.

After Gilbert regained his composure to gun out designated hitter Jeff Cavanaugh, first baseman John Csencsits followed with a liner to left that drove in the fifth run of the inning.

By the time Tri-County ended its own nightmarish inning, the score was 9-2.

"They were throwing it around a little bit early," said Blue Mountain manager Punkin' Miller. "But this was a a good team effort, too."

Tim Buck of Bethleon picked up the victory, while Scott Stewart of the ICC Pirates suffered the loss.


From The Morning Call -- July 7, 2001

Copyright 2001, The Morning Call