Lehigh Township stays alive
with come-from-behind victory
The Brewers knock off ICC Pirates to
cut the series deficit to 2-1.
Of The Morning Call
Having their backs pressed
firmly up against the wall often brings out the best in true competitors.
With a come-from-behind,
six-inning 13-4 trouncing of the ICC Pirates on Tuesday night at Bryfogle
Memorial Park, the Lehigh Township Brewers showed that they are, indeed,
Down two games to none in
the best-of-five Tri-County League championship series, Lehigh Township
(31-14) fell into an even deeper hole when, fueled by Chad Stecker's solo
home run and Chad Waelchli's two-run shot, ICC (30-16) jumped out to a 4-1
lead. For the Brewers, the threat of elimination loomed large.
But the Brewers' "Limeport
Bulls Connection" of Steve Unger and Billy Fatzinger came through with two
crucial offensive wallops and winning pitcher Jeff Erschen made one huge
adjustment and blanked the Pirates the rest of the way, striking out 10 in
Lehigh Township answered
ICC's four-run third with a four-spot of its own in the bottom of the frame.
Unger, who moved from the
Bulls to the Brewers in midseason, followed up Eric Schmitt's two-run double
to right-center with a booming two-run homer to dead center.
And Fatzinger, who played
most of his long and illustrious TriCo career with Limeport, delivered a
three-run bolt to almost the same spot in the fourth to chase Pirates'
starter Dan Smith. The Brew Crew added five more in the fifth, and Erschen,
who was by that time mowing down the Pirates, had more than enough to work
Brewers' manager Shawn
Andrews will send Josh Friebolin to the mound in Game 4 at Bethlehem
Township Municipal Park at 5:45 p.m. Thursday. ICC skipper Mike Brosious
will counter with Ryan Lindley.
Asked if the comeback showed
his team's character, Unger said, "Oh, my God, yeah! ICC has a good hitting
team, and they'd been slapping us around a little bit. But we have the kind
of well- rounded team to come back and win this series. We have to pull
together, not argue with each other, and cut down on the errors that hurt us
the first two games. If we do, we can pull it out."
hit a curveball over the fence.
"It was strictly a guess,"
he said with a smile. "I chased a curve in the dirt on the first pitch, and
I figured he'd [Smith] try another one. He got it right up in my power
With runners at second and
third and none out, Fatzinger tried to hit a sacrifice fly -- but got a
bonus, also off a high curve.
"I was strictly thinking fly
ball," he said. "He got one a little up."
Erschen, a curveball pitcher
by trade, had to rethink his approach in mid-game.
"[ICC] knew I was a
breaking-ball pitcher, and it became apparent they were just sitting on the
curve," Erschen said. "I called Eric [catcher Schmitt] out and told him we
had to change our game plan. We started going with mostly fastballs, just
mixing in an occasional curve."
five-hitter (in just six innings) stands as evidence that he made the right
"Plus," he said, "whenever I
pitch, these guys always support me with the sticks. Tonight was no
004 000 - 4 5 5
Lehigh Twp. 014 35x - 13 11 1
Dan Smith, Marty Rowan (4), Dan Fazekas (5) and Kyle Ruff; Jeff Erschen
and Eric Schmitt. W - Erschen. L - Smith. HR - I: Chad Stecker (3rd, 0 on);
Chad Waelchli (3rd, 1 on); LT: Steve Unger (3rd, 1 on); Billy Fatzinger
(4th, 2 on).
From The Morning Call --
August 14, 2002
The Morning Call