Lehigh Township knots Tri-Co series with ICC
The Brewers' Leslie shines on the mound, at the
plate and on defense.
Of The Morning Call
Everyone knew that defending
Tri-County League champion Lehigh Township was a powder keg of talent just
waiting to go off. It turns out the Brewers just needed the reigning league MVP
to light the fuse.
With their season on the line for the second straight night,
the Brewers came out of their shell Tuesday, riding the right arm and powerful
bat of 2003 MVP Brandon Leslie to a 9-4 win over the ICC Pirates in Game 4 of
the Tri-County championship series at
Bryfogle Park in Berlinsville.
The Brewers now have a chance not only to defend their
title, but to come back from a two-games-to-none hole in Thursday's fifth and
deciding game at
Bethlehem Township Park.
Not only did Leslie pitch a complete game in the win, he
pounded a two-run triple off ICC starter Scott Stewart that bounced off the
right-field fence in the third inning to start a four-run outburst that buried
the Pirates for good.
''I thought when I hit it that it might have just been a
popup to right,'' Leslie said. ''But it just kept carrying. I've been trying to
just take the approach to go the other way, just because I really like fastballs
away. He's a fastball pitcher, and I knew he'd just come at me with a
After struggling for most of the series at the plate, Leslie
finally got a pitch he liked in the third when Stewart grooved a 2-1 fastball.
The ball carried over the head of right fielder Luke Pile, bounced off the fence
and rolled back toward the infield, allowing Nick Bowen and John Stezenko to
score and give the Brewers a 2-0 lead that they would never relinquish.
Lehigh Township added
two more in the third, one in the fourth and four in the sixth on its way to the
''This is the team I've been used to seeing all year long,''
Township manager Shawn Andrews. ''Good teams make you play like they have been;
they shut your bats down. You've just got to keep plugging away and coming with
a better approach, and I really think we're doing that now.''
The Brewers had numerous players doing that on Tuesday
night, including Stezenko (three doubles, two RBIs and two runs scored), Steve
Unger (a two-run homer, an RBI single and two runs scored) and Jeremy Bartha (an
RBI double and a run scored).
But there was no doubt that Leslie was the brightest star in
Berlinsville on Tuesday. After a 2003 campaign that saw him go 5-1 on the mound
with an absurd 1.66 ERA, Leslie pitched five innings of three-hit, shutout ball
before giving up a pair of homers in the sixth and a run in the seventh.
Leslie, the 2003 batting champ (.493 average) also shined at
the plate, topping off his third-inning triple with an RBI single in the sixth
and two runs scored.
Oh, yeah, he can play defense too — starting two double
plays, including a
1-2-3 twin-killing in the fourth to get out of a
Unlike after Monday night's third game, at least the Pirates
won't have to dwell on defensive miscues and mental lapses when they think about
this one. ICC center fielder A.J. Peracchia's first-inning robbery of a
potential Stezenko home run was the defensive highlight of a flawless night in
the field for both teams.
''If we're going to lose, it's better to lose against some
good bats,'' said ICC manager Mike Brosious. ''There weren't any errors tonight,
so that's a positive sign.''
000 003 0 — 4 8 0
Lehigh Township 004 104 x — 9 12 0
Scott Stewart and Kyle Ruff; Brandon Leslie and Shawn
Andrews. WP: Leslie. LP: Stewart. HR: ICC: Luke Pile (6th, 1 on), Bryan Martin
(6th, 0 on). LT: Steve Unger (6th, 1 on).
From The Morning Call --
August 18, 2004
The Morning Call