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August 11, 2009
Houck's blast has Owls
hooting about tie
Game 1 of Tri-Co title series ends
7-7. Gabelsville-Northern Yankees replay tonight.
Of The Morning Call
Considering the entertainment they provided Monday night in Scherersville,
some area baseball fans probably hope they can watch the Gabelsville Owls
and Northern Yankees play a lot of baseball this week.
Those fans seem to be in luck.
Thanks to Shane Houck's one-out home run in the top of the seventh inning,
what was supposed to be Game 1 of the Tri-County League Championship Series
turned into a practice run.
blast forged a 7-7 tie and darkness halted play after the bottom of the
seventh, meaning the teams will return to Scherersville at 5:45 p.m. today
to play Game 1 Part II.
Game 2 in the best-of-five series is now slated for Gabelsville on Wednesday
night and Thursday will be an off day followed by games Friday -- and if
necessary -- Saturday and Sunday.
Houck's home run was his second of the game and one of four slugged in a
back-and-forth battle between the league's elite.
''That was one heck of a game; like two heavyweights slugging it out,'' said
Owls manager Matt Danner.
Danner wasn't sure who the re-play benefits most.
''I'm not sure how it impacts their team, but we do have a lot of arms we
can throw,'' he said. ''Shawn Betz, Justin Konnick, Chuck Nicholas. We
should be all right.''
Northern Yankees manager Brian Polaha was disappointed his team couldn't put
this one away.
Photo by Douglas Kilpatrick,
Special to The Morning
Gabelsville's third baseman #9, Shawn Betz
gets a hit during their Tri-County Baseball League finals
game against the Northern Yankees at Scherersville field in Allentown on
disappointed with the bottom of the sixth,'' he said. ''We took the lead
with a run, but we had an opportunity to get a lot more. We had bases loaded
with one out and the middle of our lineup coming up.''
Gabelsville reliever Todd Stapleton allowed a bloop RBI single to shallow
center by Adam Sandt to give the Yanks a 7-6 lead.
But he regrouped to fan both No. 4 and No. 5 hitters Rick Seltzer and Darrin
Lenhart, who had earlier hit a three-run homer and a two-run blast,
The final pop belonged to Houck.
He's a 19-year-old Boyertown High and Kutztown University product, who is
still eligible to be playing with the mighty Boyertown Bears legion program.
Instead, he opted to play for the Kutztown Rockies in the Atlantic
Collegiate Baseball League and the Owls this summer.
He's certainly used to big spots and neither the pressure of the moment nor
the lack of daylight could keep him in the park.
''I was still seeing the ball pretty good,'' Houck said. ''It was a 1-0
pitch and he threw me a fastball over the plate. I put a good swing on it.
The pitchers were leaving the ball up tonight.''
The Yankees (30-7-1) had 13 hits, the Owls eight. Mix in nine walks and it
was no wonder Mother Nature provided just enough light to get in the
regulation seven innings.
No one was happy with the tie.
''It's definitely better than taking a loss,'' Houck said.
''All this does is recycle the pitching,'' Polaha said. ''We had a tie game
in last year's championship series with them, too, and that was more
deflating because we needed only one out to get a win and threw it away.
That tie changed the whole series. I don't think that will happen again.''
Gabelsville Owls 302 100 1 -- 7 8
Northern Yankees 402 001 0 -- 7 13 0
Trout, Stapleton (6) and Bealer; Bates, Cooperman (4) and Calarco. HRs: GO,
Houck 2 (1st, 2 on), (7th, none on); NY, Seltzer (1st, 2 on); Lenhart (3rd,
1 on). Notes: Tim Kay 3-3, Adam 2-4, 2 RBIs for Yanks. Trout 2-run double
From The Morning Call --
August 11, 2009
The Morning Call