Fleetwings to capture 13th title
The team's 3-game sweep produces its first crown
Of The Morning Call
Although Gabelsville has dominated the Tri-County League since the early 1980s,
the Owls hadn't been able to call themselves champions since winning their 12th
title in 2001.
When you play in the shadow cast by that 800-pound gorilla known as the
Boyertown Bears, that's a long time to go without popping champagne corks.
That drought ended Wednesday night, although as the Owls celebrated the
Fleetwings reflected on yet another frustrating conclusion to their own title
Justin Konnick slammed the door on a Fleetwings rally and Gabelsville made the
most of its six hits to produce a 6-4 victory that completed a three-game sweep
of the Tri-Co title series.
''Around this town you're expected to win championships, and when you don't,
people ask, 'What happened?''' said Konnick, who came out of the Owls' bullpen
to record a pair of fifth-inning strikeouts that stranded the potential tying
and go-ahead runs at second and third. ''So it'll be nice not to have to answer
''This never gets old,'' added Owls coach Doc Moyer, who has been with the team
since 1989 and has been a part of nine title teams. ''You can have a successful
season if you don't win a championship, but it's disappointing if you don't.''
Which means the loss ended another successful, but disappointing, season for the
Fleetwings (30-14), who have been in the playoffs for all seven years of their
existence but have never won the title.
''Guys are getting older, guys are getting jobs, and that core group is getting
smaller,'' said player-manager Jeremy Arner, whose team has reached the finals
twice — only to find Gabelsville waiting. ''A guy like Matt Hlay wants to win
one before he goes out and every year he's got to decide if he wants to come
back for another year.''
''I can't explain it,'' Moyer said of the Fleetwings' playoff disappointments.
''They've been knocking on the door every year but they just seem to run into a
The 25-year-old Konnick, who serves as the pitching coach for Moyer's older
brother Todd at Boyertown High School, came on for Ryan Bown with the Fleetwings
seemingly poised to force a fourth game in the series.
Trailing 4-1, the Fleetwings chased Bown with four hits, including Justin
Godusky's RBI single and Ben Swatsky's run-scoring double that cut the deficit
to a run.
But Matt Godusky and Scott Matejicka went down swinging against Konnick, and
Kyle Hoffman's RBI double sparked a two-run fifth that gave the Owls (32-8)
''They can hit with the best of them,'' Konnick said of the Fleetwings, who
outhit the Owls 25-20 in the series. ''We did what we needed to do to get people
''I think honestly we're the best team in the league but I never expected to win
in three [games],'' Moyer said.
Although Konnick joined Gabelsville in time for its 1999-2000-2001 title reign,
Hoffman — who scored twice and knocked in two runs — is one of six newcomers
whom Moyer has worked into the lineup since 2001.
''It's very satisfying to come back and win it with a different group, a younger
group,'' Moyer said.
''I've been winning championships with some of these guys since I was eight
years old,'' Konnick said. ''It's nice to get another one.''
Fleetwings 100 021 0 — 4 10 1
Gabelsville 201 120 x — 6 6 0
Brian Frazier, Scott Bolasky (7) and Jeremy Arner; Ryan Bown, Justin Kinnick (5)
and Bill Kropp, Matt Danner (3). W-Kinnick. L-Frazier. HR-F: Tom Williams (6th,
From The Morning Call --
August 18, 2005
The Morning Call