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 Monday, May 12, 2003




ICC Pirates begin defense of league title

Of The Morning Call


Not a whole lot has changed since the ICC Pirates beat old rival Limeport, three-time defending champion Gabelsville and Lehigh Township last August to capture their first Tri-County League championship.

There were, however, a few moves during the offseason. Most noteworthy, former league president Steve Smull agreed to rescue the
South Whitehall franchise. Smull, a fixture with 2002 runner-up Lehigh Township, will manage and play for the Serpents this summer.

In addition, the Cardinals franchise moved from
Lower Nazareth to Bushkill Township.


Manager: Jason Strunk.

Coach: Bob Breitfeller.

Last year: 22-14 regular season, 6th; 23-16 overall; lost to Tri-City in playoff quarterfinals.

Home field: Scherersville No. 5.

Holdovers: C Strunk (.437); 1B Rob Gontkosky (.429); C/DH Mark Davis (.423); P/RF Jud Frank (.386, 4-0); 2B Breitfeller (.382); P Scott Bolasky (6-3).

Newcomers: Chuck Mondschein, John Hymans and Bruce Sokol from
South Whitehall.

Outlook: Strunk: ''We will finish anywhere from third through sixth.''


Manager: Mike Cunningham.

Last year: 13-23, 9th.

Home field: Bushkill Twp.

Holdovers: SS Todd Litts; P Mike Strechay; 1B/OF Heath Faust; OF Mason Messinger; OF Mike Bracco; 3B Matt Butz.

Newcomers: C Jeff Dahl; 2B Pat Higgins; OF Shane Danner.

Outlook: Cards have essentially the same personnel, so change of venue doesn't figure to produce big jump in standings.


Manager: George Horn.

Coach: Mark Jarrell.

Last year: 20-16 regular season, 7th; 20-18 overall; lost to
Lehigh Township in playoff quarterfinals.

Home field:
Cedarbrook Park.

Holdovers: P Brad Sechler (6-2); P Steve Graff (5-2); C Chris Peters (.430); OF Ryan Zimmerman (.411); 1B Mark Jarrell (.476).

Newcomers: DH Darrin Lenhart (Allen HS, Pitt); P Mike Spotts (Wilkes); P Jeff Hurly (DeSales).

Outlook: Horn: ''We may be a surprise to a lot of teams this season.'' Certainly a playoff contender again.


Manager: Mike ''Doc'' Moyer.

Coach: Ron ''Pudge'' Eddinger.

Last year: 27-9 regular season, 1st; 28-12 overall; lost to ICC in playoff semifinals.

Home field: Gabelsville AA.

Holdovers: CF A.J. Bohn (.375); Al Fitch (.439, TCL rookie of year); Kyle Hoffman (.354); Jared Trout (.556); P Justin Konnick (3-2).

Newcomers: None listed.

Outlook: Moyer: ''We expect to contend for the league title along with ICC, Tri-City, Limeport and
Lehigh Township.''


Manager: Mike Brosious.

Coaches: Josh Mohlmann, Eric Baran.

Last year: 23-13 regular season, 5th; 31-16 overall, league champions.

Home field:
Bethlehem Township Municipal Park.

Holdovers: Mohlmann (.385); A.J. Perachia (.475); LHP Scott Stewart (7-1).

Newcomers: LHP Nolan Fry (from
Elmira of Frontier League), Troy Fry (Georgia Southern).

Outlook: Defending champs beefed up pitching staff with the Fry boys, will make strong run at crown.


Manager: Vic Acevedo.

Coaches: Tony Toth, Dave Snyder.

Last year: 11-25, 11th.

Home field: Scherersville.

Holdovers: 3B/OF Tony Toth (.315); 1B Frank Johnson (.387); P/OF Shawn Cadden (.381).

Newcomers: Jose Medina, Tony Marrero, both from
South Whitehall.

Outlook: Acevedo: ''I feel we will surprise a lot of people this year and make the playoffs.''


Manager: Shawn Andrews.

Coach: Wade Marlatt.

Last year: 25-11 regular season, tied 2nd; 31-15 overall.

Home field:
Bryfogle Park.

Holdovers: C/OF Bryn Lindenmuth; C/1B Eric Schmitt; SS Jeremy Bartha; OF Steve Unger; 2B Charlie Torres; OF Omar Torres.

Newcomers: C/OF Dan Borden; IF Mark Nicholas.

Outlook: ''We fully expect to be in the hunt.''


Manager: Chris Parcell.

Coaches: Glenn Kushma, R.J. Sides.

Last year: 25-11 regular season, tied 2nd; 26-13 overall; lost to ICC in playoff quarterfinals.

Home field: Limeport Stadium.

Holdovers: OF Joe Pochron; P Chris Bensing (league high seven wins); P Pat Toner (league ERA leader); Kushma; Kevin Kershner (needs 11 hits for career 500).

Newcomers: 3B/DH Dave Ross; P Matt Schultz; P Scott Rodriques.

Outlook: Parsell: ''We have a very strong pitching staff and several key veteran players. Look for Pochron to make a run at league MVP.''


Manager: Don Rosenberger Sr.

Coaches: Gene Dimovitz, Brian Steigerwalt.

Last year: 9-27, 12th.

Holdovers: P Zach Dimovitz (team-record 5 wins); Brian Kucharick; Andy Rinehimer; Jason Butler; Jason Clark.

Newcomers: Ben Behler; Dipesh Chauhan;
Chad Fritz; Francisco Gonzalez; Dustin Lindley; Tom Massari.

Outlook: Pioneers have personnel to continue gradual improvement, although making playoffs is a reach.


Manager: Jeremy Smith.

Coaches: Mike Merkle, George Hudson.

Last year: 17-19, 8th.

Home field: Scherersville No. 5.

Holdovers: Merkle; George Kressley; Mike Kressley; Tim McLane.

Newcomers: Will Flores; Dave Sandt (both from
South Whitehall).

Outlook: Yanks return almost entire team but still rated as a darkhorse.


Manager: Steve Smull.

Coach: Matt Smull.

Last year: 5-31, 13th.

Home field: Scherersville No. 5.

Holdovers: None.

Newcomers: Joe Grazer, J.J. Lackman (both from Jordan Creek); Steve Smull, Matt Smull, Mike Petrucci, George Gillespie (all from Lehigh Township); Shawn Arrington (A's).

Outlook: Smull expects rough sledding with all new, very young roster that's short on pitching.


Manager: Bob Fatzinger.

Coaches: Mike Witkowski, Ray Ganser, Tom George.

Last year: 25-11 regular season, tied 2nd; 28-15 overall; lost to
Lehigh Township in playoff semifinals.

Home field: Scherersville No. 1.

Holdovers: TCL MVP Ben Swatsky (.473, led league in hits, HRs, RBIs, set total bases record); Justin Godusky (.426, led league in doubles).

Newcomers: Josh Perich (former Northwestern star, released from Mets' organization); Tom Williams (PSU footballer back to play baseball).

Outlook: Fatzinger: ''If the pitching stays healthy, we could be in the top three.''


Manager: Matt Rush.

Coach: Steve Rush.

Last year: 12-24, 10th.

Home field: Upper Perk HS.

Holdovers: SS Scott Gehringer (.419); P/1B Jeff Moyer (.376); 2B Matt Rush (.320); P/3B Dave Nowicki.

Newcomers: None listed.

Outlook: M. Rush: ''We're hoping to make the playoffs.'' Chiefs probably a longshot.


From The Morning Call -- May 12, 2003

Copyright 2003, The Morning Call