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
But would it arrive in time to save
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.''
000 00 — 0 5 2
154 1x — 11 13 0
Christian Fretz (3), Mike Trimble (3) and Eric Schmitt; Scott Stewart and Kyle
From The Morning Call --
August 13, 2004
The Morning Call