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 Thursday, August 13, 2009




Small ball gives Yankees big win to tie series with Owls

Special to The Morning Call


The Gabelsville Owls were in the catbird seat. Even though they had spotted the Northern Yankees three runs, they came back and manufactured a 5-3 lead going into the seventh inning.

But with one out, things started to unravel. First, Caleb Calarco reached first on a slow roller that hugged the third base line and never rolled foul. He was forced at second for the second out, but Timmy Kay lofted a soft fly that was just out of the reach of Owls first baseman Jared Trout, Eric Ruff walked to load the bases and Adam Sandt knocked in the tying runs with a single to center.

''I knew we had our fastest runner (Kay) on second so as soon as I hit it I knew he'd score,'' Sandt said.

In the eighth, Darrin Lenhart blasted a double off the left field fence, reached third on Jeremy Faust's sacrifice and scored the winning run on Calarco's sac fly to center, giving the Yankees a come-from-behind 6-5 win to tie the Tri-County Championship Series at 1-1.

Sandt was the hitting star of the game with four RBIs, including a two-run homer in the third. Mike Venarchick also homered for the Yankees.

''In the beginning we gave them a sloppy couple of runs,'' Yankees manager Brian Polaha said. ''Adam had a huge at-bat in the seventh. He was behind in the count and had a clutch hit. We had two outs and just kept getting the next guy on base. Caleb pitched a great game on three days rest.''

Calarco was the winning pitcher, with an eight-hit complete game. The Owls hit in every inning, but only put the hits together in the third and fourth, when they scored three runs and two runs, respectively to take their 5-3 lead.

''In the eighth inning it was all adrenaline,'' Calarco said. ''I only had three days rest, so in the beginning I was just trying to get through them. In the seventh inning, coming from behind, all the adrenaline was coming and I just wanted to be out there. I didn't even feel my arm. Everything was working decent.''

Sandt said Owls starter Shawn Betz left a couple of pitches high and he was able to take advantage of it.

''In the last game we didn't do that, in this game we did,'' he said. ''He left a fastball up in the seventh. I was down in the count and I was just trying to get something in play.''

Gabelsville manager Matt Danner said a couple of high fast balls proved to be Betz's undoing.

''The two home runs were high fast balls and the hit that tied the game was a high fast ball,'' he said. ''It was looking good there for a while. It's a funny game sometimes. Those two balls in the seventh weren't hard hit, but they did the job. Give them credit, they did an excellent job of hitting mistakes.''

Northern Yankees  012 000 21 -- 6 10 3

Gabelsville Owls     003 200 00 -- 5   8  2

Calarco and Venarchick, Faust (5); Betz, Stapleton (7) and Bealer, Konnick (5). HRs: NY: Venarchick (2nd, none on), Sandt (3rd, one on). Notes: Sandt had 2RBI in the third and two in the seventh. Next game is Friday at 5:45 at Scherersville.

John Hellig is a freelance writer.


From The Morning Call -- August 13, 2009

Copyright 2009, The Morning Call