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 Thursday, August 5, 2010




Gabelsville breaks it open in sixth

Owls plate 9 runs in inning en route to 9-3 win over Limeport.


Special to The Morning Call


Limeport pitcher Ryan Palos was hanging on throughout the first five innings of Wednesday's Tri-County League series with defending champion Gabelsville.

By the time he was pulled from the game in the sixth, Palos' right arm was just hanging.

Gabelsville sent 15 batters to the plate in the top of sixth. The Owls scored nine times to take control of the game and the series, eventually winning 9-3 at Limeport Stadium.

Game 3 in the best-of-five series is 5:45 p.m. Friday at Gabelsville.


Palos took a 1-0 lead into the sixth, working out of trouble in several innings.

After Limeport failed to stretch its lead a couple of times, Gabelsville broke it open.

The Owls (29-7) used eight hits (four never left the infield), three hit batters and a walk against Palos and reliever Steve Geisel.

"Palos, like our other starters, his arm is sore before he even takes the mound," Limeport manager Pat Lane said. "Most guys go on seven to 10 days rest. Our guys are going on five.

"We should have had more runs. It's different having a 3- or 4-0 lead. We couldn't have asked for anything more from Ryan."

After Palos got a strikeout to start the fateful sixth, the next 10 Owls reached base — seven against Palos.

George Kochu's infield single loaded the bases before Brandon Sullivan, who a big hit in Tuesday night's win, drove in the tying run with an infield single to deep short.

Josh Martin, who was having a tough night before the sixth, then delivered a two-run single that took a wicked hop of the shoulder of Limeport shortstop Brian Ernst.

  Photo by Michael Kubel, The Morning Call  

Gabelsville's Shawn Betz pitches to Limeport in the Tri-County League Championship Series at Limeport Stadium on Wednesday.
Back-to-back hit batters finished Palos. Winning pitcher Shawn Betz hit Geisel's first pitch to left field for a two-run single for a 6-1 Gabelsville lead.

Limeport (23-14) got a first-inning run when Mike Cudwadie singled, took second on Dan Hemberger's sacrifice and continue to third on an error on the play. He scored on Ernst's grounder to second.

Limeport had runners on first and third in the third, but had a runner picked off.

In the top of the third, right fielder Devon Ziegenfuss protected the one-run lead by throwing a one-hop bullet to catcher Ben Swatsky to get Martin, who was trying to score from third on Betz's fly ball.

In Martin's first at-bat, he singled but was caught stealing. After getting thrown out at the plate in the third after a single, he sacrificed Sullivan to second with a bunt but was called out at first when it appeared he beat the throw. Earlier in the at-bat, Martin was hit by a pitch but, after a conference, umpires ruled he offered at the pitch.

Gabelsville's leadoff hitter made up for it with his big hit in the sixth.

The rest was Betz, who struck out five and walked one for the complete-game win.

"He's been a good pitcher in this league for a long time," Lane said. "But we made some baserunning mistakes and committed some errors that cost us. You can't play that way against this team. They are too good."

Gabelsville  000 009 0 — 9 13 3

Limeport    100  000 2 — 3  6  2

Shawn Betz and Ryan Zakszeski. Ryan Palos, Steve Geisel (6) and Ben Swatsky. Top hitters: Gabelsville: Brandon Sullivan 3-for-4, 2 RBIs, run scored; Josh Martin 3-for-4, 2 RBIs, run scored; Gary Hessler 2-for-4, RBI, run scored. Limeport: Devon Ziegenfuss 2-for-3, RBI, run scored.



Tom Housenick is a freelance writer.


From The Morning Call -- August 5, 2010

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