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 Wednesday, August 4, 2004

SPORTS

 C-2 


 

Lehigh Township completes sweep of Coplay

John Stezenko hits two homers in a 13-4 win in Game 2 of 3-game series.



Of The Morning Call


 

As Lehigh Township player/manager Shawn Andrews rounded first base, nothing was going to stop him from going to second despite the fact that he was about to be thrown out by nearly 20 feet.

''Don't laugh at your coach,'' Andrews told his team after the game, drawing even more laughter from the dugout.

On this night, the Brewers were the only ones laughing.

No. 2 seed
Lehigh Township advanced to the second round of the Tri-County League playoffs with a 13-4, six-inning laugher against seventh-seeded Coplay Tuesday in Scherersville. Tuesday's win, combined with Sunday's come-from-behind 7-6 win, completed a two-game sweep of the Reds and sends the Brewers to a semifinal series beginning Thursday.

Should Limeport beat Tri-City tonight, then the Brewers would host Cetronia. If Tri-City wins, the Fleetwings will travel to
Lehigh Township.

Unlike on Sunday, when the Brewers let Coplay jump to a 4-0 lead, Andrews' club jumped on the Reds early and often. After taking the lead in the second inning on a three-run homer by John Stezenko, the Brewers sent 12 men to the plate in the fourth, scoring nine more runs, including two on another homer by Stezenko.

''It's big,'' said Andrews of the inning that changed this one from close to comical. ''Because if you let them hang around, you get the feelings we had the other night. You start pressing, you start wondering what's going on, when's it going to happen? It was big for our confidence.''

The fourth-inning stand-up act reached its peak when Stezenko stepped to the plate for the second time in the inning. Already with seven runs across in the inning and his team down 11-2, Coplay player/manager Steve Smull was counting on Joe Wasilewski, his third pitcher of the day and second of the inning.

Stezenko, who said he usually doesn't swing at offspeed pitches, had hit his first homer on a hanging curve from starter Gerard Price. Even with that knowledge in hand, Wasilewski floated a changeup on the inside part of the plate, which Stezenko crushed deep over the left-center field fence.

''I've been hitting all right lately, more for average than for power,'' said Stezenko, who hit well over .350 during the regular season. ''I just stood taller in the box, since I've been getting jammed on inside pitches, and just relaxed up there.''

Stezenko's five RBIs were not the only big numbers of the night for the Brewers. Steven Unger contributed to the nine-run fourth with a two-run double which Nick D'Amico followed with an RBI double of his own.

Then D'Amico, who had not pitched an inning all season, came on in the bottom of the sixth to strike out two Coplay batters.

According to regular-season records,
Lehigh Township would hope to see Cetronia on Thursday, as the Brewers are 2-1 on the season against the Longhorns and 1-2 against Tri-City. Thursday's game begins at 5:45 p.m.

Lehigh Twp.  031 900 13 14 0

Coplay           002 011   4   8  1

LT: Christian Fretz, Brian Boylan (5), Nick D'Amico (6) and Shawn Andrews; COP: Gerard Price, John Hartzell (3), Joe Wasilewski (4), Ryan Boyle (5) and Caleb Calarco. HR: LT: Stezenko, 2, (2nd, 2 on), (4th 1 on); COP: Brandon Youngkin, (5th, 0 on).




steve.moore@mcall.com

 

 

From The Morning Call -- August 4, 2004

Copyright 2004, The Morning Call