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 Saturday, July 13, 2002




Blue Mountain League pounds Tri-County for 10-2 all-star victory

Special to The Morning Call


Tri-City Fleetwings' pitcher Ryan Palos had a good news, bad news kind of eighth inning Friday night in the Blue Mountain League's 10- 2 victory over the Tri-County League in their 2002 All-Star Game at Limeport Stadium.

The good news was, the 22-year-old Bethlehem Catholic and Wilkes graduate struck out the side.

The bad news is, he hung a curve letter high to his 24-year-old brother, Mike (MCS Cardinals) -- and Mike, who starred at both Becahi and Lafayette, launched a 400-foot triple to center to plate the BML's last two runs.

"I hung it right up there for him," Ryan smiled. "But I'm not all that upset by it. Just playing against him was fun. I'm just looking forward to the next time we meet.

"This was the third. [Mike] plays for Banko's A's in our league. Last year, he went 0-for-4; first game this year he was 2-for-3."

For his part, Mike Palos said, "I was extremely nervous walking up there. My knees were shaking. All I could think of was striking out.

"[Ryan] hung one. I got lucky."

The BML broke away from a 2-2 tie with an unearned run in the sixth on Dan Borden's (Lower Nazareth Phillies) RBI groundout, then broke the game open with five in the seventh. Andy Simock (Catasauqua Black Sox) and Andy Pitsilos (Polysteel Orioles) each had two-run singles.

Palos' blow in the eighth was anticlimactic -- except, perhaps, to his family.

Lehigh University's baseball coaching staff was exceptionally well represented on the BML bench.

So was their Engineers' team, for that matter.

Head coach Sean Leary (Bethleon) started at short and pitching coach Chris Sule (MCS) at second. Pitsilos, another Lehigh aide, replaced Leary at short in the sixth.

Jerry Mack, Leary's third aide, didn't play. But his son, Jeremy (Limeport Dodgers), an LU senior-to-be, did -- as the starter in center. And Dave Cerminaro (MCS), ace of the Engineers' mound staff, got two seventh-inning outs.

Lehigh's arch-rival, Lafayette, was also in evidence. Leopards' pitching coach Scott Stewart (ICC Pirates) tossed a scoreless first inning for the TCL and Paul Engelhardt (Phillies), another aide to Joe Kinney, was a BML coach.

Moravian assistant Bob Zerfass (Hellertown Royals) was also a BML coach.

The TCL nicked starter Tim Buck (Bethleon) for an unearned run in the second to draw first blood, but the BML matched that in the bottom half second on singles by Matt Edwards (Dodgers) and Hank Reifsnyder (Royals).

The teams swapped runs again in the fourth. The TCL got its on a walk, a double by Joe Pochron (Limeport Bulls) and a wild pitch by Ryan Amey (Royals) -- and would have had a second had not P.J. Yoder (Phillies) nailed Pochron at the plate after snagging Bob Breitfeller's (Northern Yankees) liner to medium left.

The BML countered on a double by Edwards and Reifsnyder's single.

Tri-County League       -- 010 100 000 --  2   7  3

Blue Mountain League -- 010 101 52x -- 10 16 1

Stewart, Leslie (2), Grazer (4), Toner (6), Melcher (7), Palos (8) and Peters, Arner (6); Buck, Amey (3), Stannard (5), McGeehan (6), Cerminaro (7), Hermann (7), Pavolko (8), Remel (9) and Reifsnyder, Borden (6). W -- McGeehan. L -- Toner.

Ted Meixell is a freelance writer.


From The Morning Call -- July 13, 2002

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