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 Friday, August 13, 2004




ICC routs Lehigh Twp. 11-0 in finals opener

Of The Morning Call


It didn't take long for ICC to compile more than enough runs to put away Lehigh Township in Thursday night's opener of the Tri-County League championship series.

But did the Pirates take too long doing it?

Although it wasn't Tropical Storm Bonnie bearing down on Bethlehem Township Municipal Park she may make her presence felt at Saturday's Game 2 (5 p.m.) in Berlinsville the darkening sky told everyone rain was on the way.

But would it arrive in time to save
Lehigh Township?

On this night, however, nothing could save the defending champion Brewers, who were thumped 11-0 in a game shortened to 41/2 innings.

ICC (32-6) used nine unearned runs including five in a second-inning outburst and got five shutout innings from Scott Stewart to take the first step toward reclaiming the title they won two years ago.

''We expected a tight game,'' LT manager Shawn Andrews said after the Pirates handed his team (32-8) its worst loss of the season. ''We certainly didn't expect to come out without any effort.''

Already trailing 1-0, the Brewers' Nick Bowen should have gotten out of the second inning without giving up a run. But after Brewers shortstop Jeremy Bartha booted Brent Bowman's one-out grounder, Bowman scored on Kyle Ruff's double to left.

Then, the Pirates got three straight two-out hits a two-run single by Luke Pile, an RBI double by A.J. Pirracchia, and an RBI single by Bryan Martin to break it open.

''The last two weeks or so our clutch hitting has been hot,'' ICC manager Mike Brosious said. ''I only hope it continues.''

The game became predictable after the Pirates' lead grew to 10-0 in the third. The final out of that inning came when Martin, on first after his third hit, gave himself up after getting ''caught'' in a rundown.

''We're going to play the game the way it's supposed to be played,'' home plate umpire Mike Applegate sternly told both benches.

Following a later exchange between fans and players focusing on the Brewers' failure to catch fly balls and ICC's tendency to swing through pitches, Applegate visited official scorer Steve Smull after the fourth inning and confirmed the score.

''If we get through this that's it,'' Applegate said as a slight drizzle began to fall.

Smull nodded, and as soon as Stewart struck out Brandon Leslie to make the game official, Applegate kept his word.

Unlike two weeks ago, when the Brewers were critical of umpire Rusty Hood for stopping a game after six innings because of darkness, they and their manager had little reaction.

''You could feel the rain coming and we could have stretched it out,'' Andrews said. ''But sometimes you just have to take your beatings. They out-played us today; they showed up, and we didn't.''

Lehigh Township 000 00   0  5  2

ICC Pirates          154 1x 11 13 0

Nick Bowen, Christian Fretz (3), Mike Trimble (3) and Eric Schmitt; Scott Stewart and Kyle Ruff. L-Bowen.



From The Morning Call -- August 13, 2004

Copyright 2004, The Morning Call