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 Wednesday, August 3, 2005




Fleetwings pitchers combine to shut down Brewers, 3-0

Of The Morning Call


The Tri-County League will have a new champion.

A trio of pitchers and some tough luck ended the three-peat bid of the Curtis Brewers of Lehigh Township Tuesday night in Scherersville.

The Fleetwings' Ryan Palos, Dan Hemberger and Adam Maini combined on a three-hitter and made three first-inning runs stick for a 3-0 win in the third and deciding game of a first-round playoff series.

While the Brewers' year ended at 16-19, the Fleetwings no longer using the name of sponsor Tri-City advance to the semifinals. As the two-seed, the Fleetwings host No. 3 Silver Creek in Game 1 of a best-of-five series Thursday.

The Fleetwings (27-9) beat Silver Creek (27-8) twice in three regular season meetings.

''This feels good, especially since we got knocked out in the first round of the playoffs last year by Limeport,'' player-manager Jeremy Arner said. ''It was nice that Ryan, who pitched Game 3 of that series last year, gained redemption.''

Palos got it by scattering three hits over five innings. He then turned it over to the left-handed Hemberger for a hitless sixth, and then Adam Maini, who will be a senior at Emmaus High this fall, closed the series with a 1-2-3 seventh.

Two of Maini's three outs came on strikeouts.

''I just joined this team after my Lower Macungie legion season ended because I wanted to play more ball,'' Maini said. ''It gives me good experience to go against these guys. I've been feeling strong and confident. I get fired up coming in to end the game.''

But while Maini's heat cooled off the Brewers late, Palos' performance was most special to Arner.

''Ryan has been out for nearly two months with vertigo,'' Arner said. ''He hasn't thrown five innings in a game all year. That's all we wanted from him tonight. All three of our guys did a great job.''

Brewers' pitcher Justin Jackowicz wasn't bad either. Over the last five innings, he allowed just one baserunner.

But he paid the price for a lead-off walk to Scott Garger in the first. Matt Marcks sacrificed Garger to second and then Justin Godusky, Ben Swatsky and Matt Godusky all followed with singles for a 2-0 lead. Arner's sacrifice fly closed the early uprising and the game's scoring.

''Once we got those three in the first, we thought it could be a real shootout,'' Arner said. ''We don't always play the best defense and we give up our share of runs.''

''If I was told our pitcher would give up just three runs and four hits, I thought we would have won the game,'' Brewers manager Shawn Andrews said. ''But give them credit. Their pitchers made the big pitches when they needed them and we hit some balls hard right at people.''

Curtis Brewers  000 000 0 0 3 0

Fleetwings         300 000 x 3 4 0

Jackowicz and J. Borden; Palos, Hemberger (6), Maini (7) and Arner. W: Palos.



From The Morning Call -- August 3, 2005

Copyright 2005, The Morning Call