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 Sunday, August 14, 2005




Colon's hot bat in seventh gives Owls 5-4 victory

Gabelsville grabs 1-0 lead in Tri-Co championship series.

Of The Morning Call


Fleetwings' player-manager Jeremy Arner said simply, ''We took a shot and it didn't work out.''

Even though Gabelsville's Pete Colon doubled twice previously Saturday, Arner and the Fleetwings decided to intentionally walk the preceding hitter, Rich Kropp, who was 0-for-3, to get to Colon with a runner on second and one out in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Colon foiled the strategy with a single to left and the Owls had themselves a 5-4 win and 1-0 lead in the best-of-five Tri-County League championship series.

Gabelsville, bidding for its first league title since 2001 and 13th overall, will shoot for a 2-0 series lead when the series resumes at 5 p.m. today at Scherersville.

Arner wasn't going to second-guess himself for pitching to Colon.

''All of those guys they had coming up in the order were good hitters,'' Arner said. ''You don't want to see any of those hitters come up to the plate in that situation.''

''We tried to set up the double play. Colon hits well, but he also strikes out a lot.''

Colon, a Daniel Boone High graduate who just completed his collegiate career at Temple, was surprised to get a chance to be the hero.

''[Kropp] was not having one of his best days, but it made sense to set up the double play,'' Colon said. ''Even if they had pitched around me, Kyle Hoffman was up next and I was confident he'd get the job done if I couldn't.''

Colon, Hoffman and Ryan Bosch were pivotal in bringing the Owls (30-8) back from a 4-1 deficit against Kutztown High product Chris Rothermel with back-to-back-to-back doubles in a three-run sixth.

Through five innings, Rothermel had a three-hitter.

''Rothermel was great and we were in the driver's seat most of the game,'' Arner said.

Gabelsville pitcher Justin Konnick was even more clutch. With runners at first and third in the top of the seventh, Konnick escaped by getting Fleetwings' cleanup man Ben Swatsky on a double- play ball hit sharply to short.

''We got the double play ball we were looking for and they didn't get it,'' Gabelsville manager Doc Moyer said. ''That's the way it goes. You have to make some tough decisions. I don't blame them for walking Kropp. He hit like .600 during the season.''

Most of the players on the Gabelsville roster came through the renowned Boyertown American Legion system.

Colon is treated just like an ex-Bear even though he played his legion ball for Birdsboro.

''They treat me like I'm a Boyertown guy, so I feel like I am one,'' the 22-year-old Colon said. ''There's no pressure here. It's like coming to park with a bunch of friends.''

Gabelsville is a not-so-friendly place for Tri-Co foes and Arner was disappointed his team missed a chance to return on Route 100 with a win.

However, the Fleetwings (30-12) lost the opener of both of its previous series and rallied to beat Lehigh Township and Silver Creek. In fact, the Fleetwings trailed Silver Creek 2-1 and still prevailed.

''This is nothing new for us; we're going to come back [today] looking to win,'' Arner said. ''Our pitching is a little battered right now coming out of the Silver Creek series. If we can get a split this weekend, we'll be in good shape come Tuesday night.''

Fleetwings    103 000 0 4 8 0

Gabelsville     100 003 1 5 7 2

Rothermel, Toth (6) and Arner; Konnick and Dierolf. L: Toth.



From The Morning Call -- August 14, 2005

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