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 Tuesday, August 17, 2004




Brewers win Game 3 in Tri-Co

Lehigh Township finally gets the bats going, beats ICC 9-3.

Of The Morning Call


It's very possible that Monday's third game of the Tri-County League championship series was played in the twilight zone.

Up became down and black became white. A once-struggling
Lehigh Township offense exploded while a previously picture-perfect ICC defense imploded. The result was a 9-3 Lehigh Township win in six innings at Bethlehem Township Park that cut the Pirates' series lead to 2-1 and gave the defending champion Brewers at least 24 hours of life. Game 4 of the best-of-five series will take place at 5:45 tonight at Bryfogle Park in Berlinsville.

The Pirates, who had outscored
Lehigh Township 16-3 in the first two games while playing error-free defense, committed four defensive gaffs on the night leading to three huge unearned runs for the Brewers. And the four recorded errors were not the only miscues.

''We fell asleep a little bit when we were up 3-0,'' said ICC manager Mike Brosious. ''But the key to the game was errors. We had too many errors. That's the key to all of these championship series. I'll guarantee that whoever makes the least errors tomorrow will probably win again. But we've got to put it behind us and try to put our gloves back out there tomorrow.''

After jumping on
Lehigh Township starting pitcher Chris Clancy for three first-inning runs, the Pirates looked like they would cruise to a series sweep and their second title in three years. Considering the problems Lehigh Township had been having at the plate so far in the series, even manager Shawn Andrews admitted after the game that his players had their doubts when they fell into the early hole.

''These guys had obviously struggled,'' Andrews said. ''I don't think we had any guys with multiple hits the whole series, and the guys were actually talking about it on the bench. And again we came out sluggish in the beginning, booted the ball and it looked like it was going to be the same old same old. But our guys stayed with it and played through it and really got things going.''

Just as the murmurs were becoming deafening on the
Lehigh Township bench, the Brewers decided to take their bats to the plate. Oh yeah, they also got a little help from the Pirates.

Catcher Eric Schmitt hit what looked like a routine single to right field, but the ball got by right fielder Todd Brosious and rolled all the way to the wall, allowing Schmitt to reach third. That was followed by an RBI single by Pat Higgins, an RBI triple by Nick Bowen and a sac fly by Joe Bubba that tied the game at three.

With the game still tied in the top of the fifth, ICC third baseman Brent Bowman booted an easy grounder off the bat of leadoff hitter Brandon Leslie. Add an RBI double by Steve Unger (misplayed in center field), an RBI single by Nick D'Amico, along with another error by Bowman, and the once-inept Brewers' offense had a three-run lead.

''The whole series so far we've been not hitting the ball and playing bad defense,'' said D'Amico, who went 3-for-3 with three RBIs and a run scored. ''And even though we made a few errors today, our guys at the plate really picked them up and got things done. Everyone was down on each other and it was totally a mental thing. So to do something like this really picks things up.''

The Brewers will need to pick things up again tonight if they want to keep their repeat hopes alive. Andrews will send Derek Major to the mound while the Pirates will rely on Scott Stewart in their second attempt at the title.

Lehigh Twp.  000 333 9 12 3

ICC Pirates    300 000 3  4  4

LT: Chris Clancy and Eric Schmitt; ICC: Luke Pile, Brett Remel (6) and Kyle Ruff. WP: Clancy. LP: Pile.


From The Morning Call -- August 17, 2004

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