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 Thursday, July 29, 2010

SPORTS

 C-3 


 

Limeport goes up 2-0 in Tri-Co playoffs

Matt Wiltrout doesn't throw hard but gets good defense behind him in 4-2 win.
 



Of The Morning Call


 

Matt Wiltrout said he couldn't ever remember saying no when a manager or coach asked him if he was ready to pitch.

So, when Volpe's Limeport Bulls manager Pat Lane asked Wiltrout if he could pitch on Wednesday night, the answer was yes, even though the question came about 25 minutes before the start time of Game 2 of the Tri-County League semifinal series between the Bulls and Northern Yankees.

Wiltrout went the distance with a solid six-hitter that was the key to a 4-2 win at Limeport that has the Bulls on the verge of a berth of the Tri-Co finals.

 

Limeport has a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series  that continues at 7:30 Friday night at Limeport.

 
 

 

For the Yankees, it's developing into a slow death of a promising postseason.

"They're throwing guys who don't throw very hard, but it's leading to bad at-bats and lazy fly ball outs," Northern manager Brian Polaha said. "If we hit the ball on the ground, they're going to boot it around a little and good things are going to happen. But easy popups and lazy flyballs aren't going to be dropped at this level. You have a chance when you hit it hard on the ground."

Soft or hard, Limeport made all of the plays behind Wiltrout, who had just one strikeout, but also just one walk.

Wiltrout didn't consider it a slight when told of Polaha's "doesn't throw hard," comment.

"That's been my M.O. since I was in college," said the lefthander who graduated from Emmaus High and Bloomsburg University.

 

"I don't strike out a whole lot of people. I just try to throw strikes, get ahead and then get them out on my best pitches. I didn't know how far I would go tonight. I got ahead of most guys and when they hit some balls hard, our defense made the plays."

The Yankees' Joe Abeln began the game with a double and scored on Darrin Lenhart's two-out, run-scoring single.

  Photo by April Bartholomew, The Morning Call  

Matt Wiltrout of the Volpe's Limeport Bulls scattered six hits in his complete game playoff win against the Northern Yankees.
   
However, Northern didn't score again until the sixth when Rick Seltzer walked and scored on Casey Cooperman's two-out single.

The Yankees had the bases loaded in the sixth, meaning the go-ahead run was at first base.

But Abeln went after the first pitch and grounded out to second to end Northern's best chance to change the outcome.

"I was able to saw [off] some guys and get some weak liners with guys on base," Wiltrout said. "In the sixth, I just had to bear down. He swung at the first pitch and that plays into my hands because I am trying either to get ahead or get quick outs."

Wiltrout then finished things off with 1-2-3 seventh.

"I've had some success against them," Wiltrout said. "I beat them in the middle of the season and then I just pitched against them on Friday night and it was very similar game to this one."

Lane will take another one just like it on Friday night when he gives the ball to Ryan Palos looking for the clincher.

"It feels great to be up 2-0 especially since this was not how we planned it tonight," Lane said. "[Anthony] Clemens was supposed to pitch, but when he was warming up he just couldn't get loose. His arm was hurting him, so I turned to [Wiltrout] and I was just hoping to get four or five innings from him. What can I say about that performance, He just kept them off balance."

Meanwhile, back-to-back walks led to two runs in the first for Limeport when Tyler Lehman singled in a run. Good hustle by Cary Zimmerman created a run in the second. He reached on a fielder's choice, stole second and went to third on a throwing error before scoring on Adam Ganser's grounder to second on a close play at the plate.

Over the first two games of the series, Limeport has just been a step ahead.

"We were kind of quiet all year long, but now this is the best atmosphere," Lane said. "Everybody stays up, everybody congratulates everyone. We're trying to win every inning. And we've got to keep the same attitude on Friday night."

Northern Yankees        100 001 0 — 2 6 1

Volpe's Limeport Bulls  210 010 x — 4 6 0

Beck, Cooperman (5) and Faust, Abeln (6); Wiltrout and Swatsky. L: Beck



 

 

keith.groller@mcall.com

610-820-6740

 

From The Morning Call -- July 29, 2010

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