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 Sunday, August 3, 2003

SPORTS

 C-8 


 

ICC beats Gabelsville to even series, forces one more game




Special to The Morning Call


 

Luke Pile understands that he lives in a right-handed world, but wouldn't mind a few more lefties like himself -- especially in the batter's box when he is pitching.


Pile pitched a four-hit shutout Saturday afternoon to lead the defending champion ICC Pirates to a 2-0 win over Gabelsville in a Tri-County League baseball game at Bethlehem Township Municipal Park.


The best-of-three quarterfinal series is tied at 1-1. The deciding game is scheduled for 5 p.m. today at Gabelsville.


ICC (17-17), the No. 7 and final seed in the tournament, has started the postseason the same way it did last year, when it lost its first postseason game, then went on to win the championship, its first. Gabelsville (26-8), the No. 2 seed, has scored more than one run in an inning once in two games against the Pirates' two left-handed starters, Scott Stewart and Pile.


In fact, if the Owls hadn't rallied to score five runs in the bottom of the seventh to win the first game, the series would be over.


Pile held three of the Gabelsville toughest outs -- left-handed batters Jason Irey, Al Fitch and Bob Graber -- to a combined 0-for-9. He got Fitch, Gabelsville's No. 3 hitter, to ground out to second with the bases loaded to end the fifth inning.


"I'd love to see a team with nine lefties," Pile said. "I can drop down with my fastball. It's sort of like an extra pitch. I'm real comfortable with a lefty, no matter where they are in the lineup. They had some guys on base, but we got the outs when we needed them."


Only twice did a runner reach third on Pile. Steve Gabel singled to lead off the third, then went to second on Mitch Schueck's infield single. Pile balked the runners up to second and third on a pickoff attempt to second base, but struck out Irey and Greg Gilbert to end the threat.


"We're not swinging the bats the way we're capable of," Gabelsville manager Doc Moyer said. "Not to take anything away from their pitching, but we should be hitting the ball better than we are -- even just hitting the ball hard. We just ran into a kid who threw a real nice game today."


Moyer said Jeremy Cabot will be the Owls' starting pitcher today. ICC manager Mike Brosious said his entire staff will be on call.


"All the credit goes to (Pile)," Brosious said. "He threw good pitches. They didn't hit the ball hard at all. Both our lefties have done great jobs so far."


The Pirates scored a run in the third when Todd Brosious led off with a double, went to third on Chris Raber's bunt, then came home on Josh Mohlmann's sacrifice fly. Brent Bowman tripled to lead off the fifth, and with one out, scored on Raber's suicide squeeze for an insurance run.


Pile walked Graber in the sixth, then allowed a single to Gabel with two outs, but got out of that threat by getting Todd Stapleton to pop up to Raber at short. Irey reached on an error in the seventh inning, but did not get past first base.


"We felt we really outplayed them Thursday," Pile said. "It was just one of those fluke-type things where they came back and scored a bunch of runs. They got the win, but we felt like we could play with them."



Gabelsville    000 000 0 -- 0 4 0

ICC Pirates   001 010 x -- 2 5 2



Konnick and Danner. Pile and K. Ruff.




Tim Shoemaker is a freelance writer.

  

From The Morning Call -- August 3, 2003

Copyright 2003, The Morning Call