series 2-2 with Lehigh Twp.
Semifinal rivalry heats up amid 4 hit
batsmen -- all Fleetwings.
Special to The Morning Call
and Tri-City have a history in the Tri-County League playoffs.
Last year, Lehigh
Township upset the Fleetwings in the semifinals. This year, the two teams were
again paired in the semis, and Tri-City set out to avenge last year's loss to
the Brewers. They took turns beating each other up in the first three games, as
the winning team got at least 12 runs each time.
In Sunday's fourth
game at Bryfogle Memorial Park, a couple more logs were thrown on the flame of
the heated rivalry.
pitched a four-hitter and Tom Williams and Matt Marcks hit home runs to lift
Tri-City to a 10-2 win and tie the best-of-five semifinal series at two wins
But twice in the
game, in the first and seventh innings, Lehigh Township pitcher Jedi Gonzalez
hit back-to-back hitters with pitches. Those hit batsmen not only got some
players trading insults and obscenities, it also got Gonzalez and Gunkle -- who
hit no one -- warnings. One of those four hit was Ben Swatsky, who was hit in
the third consecutive game.
Home plate umpire
Lou Rodriguez initially ejected Gonzalez, but rescinded that because a
conference with the other umpires determined Gonzalez was not throwing
intentionally at the batters.
love lost," Tri-City manager Bob Fatzinger said.
Game 5 is set for
5:45 p.m. Tuesday at Scherersville. Steve Rothermel is scheduled to pitch for
Tri-City (29-7) against either Ryan Amey or Nick Bowen for the Brewers (22-16).
nor Lehigh Township manager Shawn Andrews said they knew exactly why Gonzalez
remained in the game.
know," Fatzinger said. "Both benches got warned, and he hit two after
that. They said it had to be on purpose, but how do you know when it's on
purpose? We've had a lot of guys hit during this series, but whether they're
just trying to throw inside on us ... I don't know."
"I don't know
why," said Andrews, who was the catcher for Gonzalez in the first inning.
"We're trying to come inside on them. But unfortunately, sometimes you
don't have it and you hit people. We're not major-league pitchers here.
Unfortunately we hit some guys, and they didn't like it. We fully understand
that if they come back and retaliate, we're going to accept it. We don't want to
hit anybody. We're not out for that."
Swatsky scored in
the first on Matt Godusky's single to give the Fleetwings a 1-0 lead. Mike
Trimble tied the game for the Brewers in the bottom of the second with an RBI
single, but Williams' home run to left field gave Tri-City the lead for good.
Matt Hlay's two-run single highlighted a three-run rally in the seventh to push
the lead to 10-1.
(Tri-City) is the No. 1 seed," Andrews said. "They're not going to go
away quietly. We're going to have to put together our best effort to put them
Tri-City 104 011 3 -- 10 11 0
Lehigh Township 010 000 1 -- 2 4
Gunkle and Arner.
Gonzalez and Andrews, Borden (5).
HR -- Williams (TC, 3rd, 2 on), Marcks (TC, 6th, 0 on), Borden (LT, 7th, 0 on).
Tim Shoemaker is a freelance writer.
From The Morning Call --
August 11, 2003
The Morning Call