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 Sunday, August 4, 2002




Gabelsville rallies to tie TriCo series

Without two leading hitters and a manager, Owls beat ICC 10-2.

Special to The Morning Call


Gabelsville had to play Saturday without its leadoff and cleanup hitters, who were at a wedding. Manager Mike "Doc" Moyer wasn't allowed to wear his uniform and had to stand behind the bleachers because he is serving a two-game suspension for ejections.

But the Owls aren't the Tri-County League's three-time defending and regular-season champion for nothing.

Justin Konnick scattered six hits, and Gabelsville scored five runs in the first three innings to cruise to a 10-2 win over ICC in the second game of their best-of-five semifinal series at Bethlehem Township Municipal Park.

The series, tied 1-1, resumes at 5 p.m. today at Gabelsville.

The fifth-seeded Pirates (25-15) took the first game from the Owls 3-1 on Scott Stewart's five-hitter Thursday. Top-seeded Gabelsville received a bye into the semis.

Moyer had a one-game suspension for an ejection earlier in the year. His ejection in the series opener was his second of the season, which leads to a two-game suspension. He is not eligible to be on the bench for today's game as well.

Moyer was filling out his lineup card as the umpires met for the pre-game ground rules and asked one player if he preferred left or right field. At that point, Gabelsville (28-10) was as vulnerable as it had been all season.

"We didn't swing the bats well the other night," Moyer said. "[ICC pitcher] Scott Stewart did a nice job. I knew we had to come out [Saturday], swing the bat and take advantage of some opportunities. I was a little nervous coming in, because we didn't have our normal lineup and two of our key ingredients."

The Owls had only one more hit than the Pirates but made the most of it.

Al Fitch singled with one out in the first and went to second on Greg Gilbert's single. But when the ball went through an outfielder's legs, Fitch scored and Gilbert went to third. Gilbert scored on Bob Graber's groundout.

Dave Pence homered in the third inning to make it 3-0, then Gabelsville pushed the lead to 5-0 in the third. Fitch doubled, went to third on Gilbert's infield single and scored when Gilbert stole second on the front end of a double steal. Drew Hoffman doubled in Gilbert.

Three ICC errors helped the Owls score five runs in the seventh. The Pirates made five errors.

"We weren't mentally ready to play," ICC manager Mike Brosious said. "I told them right after the game, "That's why it's a five- game series.' And now it's a three-game series."

Fitch, Gilbert and Hoffman had two hits each for Gilbertsville. Dave Stauffer and Cory Schneck each had RBI doubles for ICC.

"The other night, part of our problem was, we came out flat and went through the motions, thinking we've been here before and we were going to walk through the playoff and win another championship," Moyer said. "Maybe the other night was a bit of a wakeup call or a reality check."

Gabelsville   212 000 5 -- 10  7   0

ICC              000 100 1 --   2   6   5

Konnick and Hoffman. Lindley, Rowan (7) and K. Ruff. L-Lindley.

Tim Shoemaker is a freelance writer.


From The Morning Call -- August 4, 2002

Copyright 2002, The Morning Call