Pirates get a Ruff win to
open Tri-County finals
K-Kid brothers, Erik and Kyle, hit
home runs to fuel a big inning.
Of The Morning Call
The Tri-County League
Championship Series may have a home-field disadvantage.
In three regular season
meetings, neither the Lehigh Township Brewers nor the ICC Pirates could win
on their home diamond.
The trend continued Saturday
in Berlinsville when ICC exploded for five runs in the second inning -- all
scoring on home runs by Erik and Kyle Ruff -- and coasted to an 11-2 win
over the host Brewers in Game 1 the best-of-five set.
The Pirates (29-15) will try
to buck the trend and go up 2-0 at 5 p.m. today at Bethlehem Township Park.
Certainly, Lehigh Township
(30-13) had a Ruff time keeping the Brewers inside their park in the third
After triples by Chad
Stecker and Dave Stauffer highlighted a three-run first for ICC, Lehigh
Township bounced back in its half on RBI doubles by Bill Fatzinger and
Jeremy Bartha to get within 3-2.
But in the top of the third,
Erik Ruff (2-for-2, 2 walks, 3 RBIs, 4 runs) followed a single by Josh
Mohlmann and an error with a three- run blast.
"They were pitching me away,
but this one got too close," Ruff said of his shot over the right-field
Kyle Ruff watched his kid
brother and fellow Northampton High grad go deep and said, "I can do that."
Three batters later, he did.
His two-run shot hugged the
right-field line as it cleared the fence. It scored Chad Waelchli, who had
reached on Lehigh Township's second error of the inning.
"Everybody said Kyle called
his own shot after watching mine," Erik Ruff said. "I didn't hear him say
it, but I guess he did."
ICC pitcher Ryan Lindley
took away all of the guesswork about the outcome with six shutout innings
after allowing two runs in the first.
"This was my third time
pitching here and I usually pitch well, but only after the first inning,"
said Lindley, a Palisades High and DeSales University grad. "Maybe I don't
get loose enough, but the defense played great and made all of the plays."
Only Steve Unger, who
singled twice, had hits off Lindley after the first inning.
"They're a good fastball
hitting team, so I threw a lot of overhand and sidearm curveballs," Lindley
said. "Most of my strikeouts were on sidearm curveballs. I think I confused
them a little bit."
Lehigh Township manager
Shawn Andrews was not confused about what his team needs to do to bounce
"We've just got to play
better baseball; that's all there is to it," he said. "If you don't play
defense and support your pitcher, you're in trouble. When you let [pitchers]
out there for 15 or 16 pitches an inning, guys get tired and are bound to
That's what happened to
Brewer starter Geoff Kelowicz, who rushed back from a wedding rehearsal to
make the game. Jedi Gonzalez gave up three runs in 42/3 relief innings,
including a controversial two- run home run by Waelchli in the seventh.
305 010 2 -- 11 11 0
Lehigh Twp. Brewers
200 000 0 -- 2 5 3
Lindley and K.Ruff; Kelowicz,
Gonzalez (3) and Schmitt. L: Kelowicz. HR: ICC, E. Ruff (3rd, 2 on); K. Ruff
(3rd, 1 on); Waelchli (7th, 1 on).
From The Morning Call --
August 11, 2002
The Morning Call