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 Wednesday, July 18, 2001




Gabelsville Owls continue winning

Tri-County's most dominant team downed Tri-City, 8-3, Tuesday.

Of The Morning Call


As the winning team left the field Tuesday night at Lehigh University, one player shouted "Hey, way to go Rangers!"

Player-manager Mike "Doc" Moyer had to make a correction.

"We're not the Rangers, we're the Gabelsville Owls," he said.

No matter.

Call them the Gilbertsville Rangers, call them the Gabelsville Owls or simply call them the Tri-County League's best.

Because that's what the Owls are, especially after a solid 8-3 win over their nearest Tri-Co rivals, the Tri-City Fleetwings.

The Gilbertsville/Gabelsville franchise has been the most dominant in the Tri-Co and most consistent winner in area amateur baseball the past 18 seasons.

Since entering the Tri-Co in 1984, the team that is always stocked with Boyertown legion players has won 10 league titles. The Owls (23- 2) seem well on their way to crown No. 11 overall and No. 3 in a row, thanks to a combination of savvy veterans and spunky rookies.

"There's no secret," Moyer said. "We get good pitching, play good defense and hit the ball. We actually had three rookies in the lineup tonight -- Jordan Hartline, Buzz Kinzinger and Jared Trout. We always find a bunch of kids of love to play the game and they come to us having been taught the fundamentals."

In beating Tri-City for the second time this year, the Owls had all of the ingredients intact. They played error-free defense, got solid pitching from Justin Konnick and Shawn Betz, and offensive contributions throughout the lineup.

When Tri-City (22-6) rallied from a 3-0 deficit to tie it in the bottom of the third on an RBI single by Dan Dillon and a two-run double by Matt Hlay, the Owls didn't flinch. They came right back to regain the lead with two runs in the fourth.

Owl veterans Greg Gilbert and Jeff Evans drove in the go-ahead runs with an RBI single and sacrifice fly, respectively.

Konnick scattered six hits over five innings, then departed for Betz after the first two Fleetwings reached base in the sixth. Betz got a double-play grounder and a tapper back to the mound to escape that jam. Play was halted by an approaching thunderstorm in the bottom of the seventh.

"We try to play the game the way it's supposed to be played," Moyer said. "We want to win."

Bob Graber, who came over to Gabelsville in 1999 after a couple of decades with Upper Perk, now sees why the Owls shine.

"They have fun by winning," said Graber, who recently became the first player in Tri-Co history to have a home run and a pitching win in four different decades. "They joke around before the game, but they are all business when they take the field."

Tri-City skipper Bob Fatzinger tipped his cap.

"They're the team to beat," he said. "You have to play good ball to beat them and twice we haven't."

Gabelsville    210 203 -- 8 8 0

Tri-City          003 000 -- 3 6 2

Konnick, Betz (6) and Hartline; Gunkle and Arner. W: Konnick.


From The Morning Call -- July 18, 2001

Copyright 2001, The Morning Call