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 Saturday, August 7, 2010




Limeport stays alive against Gabelsville


Special to The Morning Call


Backed into a foxhole, supply lines cut, the Limeport Bulls held the line long enough Friday to survive and make it to Saturday night's Game Four in the Tri-County Baseball League playoffs.

Limeport rode starter Scott Bolasky, whose right pitching arm hurt even before the game, to a 10-4 victory over host Gabelsville. The victory closed the Bulls' series deficit to two games to one. Limeport must win tonight's 7:30 home game to force a deciding fifth game here Monday.

Bolasky has now earned three victories in two postseason playoff series. Last week he defeated the Northern Yankees 1-0 in the final game to push the Bulls into the championship series. On Friday, he pitched 6 1/3 innings to run his record to 8-2.

With a sore right elbow that had temporarily shut him down a month ago, Bolasky tossed 120 pitches on short rest. He struck out two, walked three and hit three batters.


"We were hoping to win Game 2 so I could wait until Game Four to pitch," said Bolasky. "It didn't work out that way, so I pitched today. I was ready."

Two of Limeport's reliable starters – Mike Orban and Anthony Clemens – suffered season-ending arm injuries the past few weeks. Someone had to emerge.

The heroes came in bunches for Limeport. Designated Hitter Brian Ernst had to play shortstop with the starter unavailable. Ernst made eight plays without an error, including two sensational stops and several long bullet throws to first base.

Said Bolasky, "I didn't even know he could throw like that."

Added Gabelsville manager Matt Danner, "That shortstop made every play. He didn't miss one. And we hit a lot of balls hard right at people. We need to just put this game behind us."

Though they entered the game down two games in the series, knowing a loss would end their season, Limeport and player/manager Pat Lane weren't in panic mode. Before the first pitch, Lane pulled his troops together and reminded them that if not for two huge sixth innings by Gabelsville in Games One and Two, the Bulls might be the team up 2-0.

Limeport (24-14) jumped ahead 4-0 after two innings to set the tone. They tacked on four more in the seventh to suck the drama from Mecherly Field.

Said Lane, "It's a lot different being ahead of this team by eight runs than by one or two."

Dan Hemberger, Tyler Lehman, Cary Zimmerman and Lane each drove in two runs for Limeport. Lehman and Zimmerman each scored twice in a 12-hit attack against three Gabelsville pitchers.

Scott Garger, Lehman and Lane each had a pair of hits.

Gabelsville (29-8) didn't go quietly. The Owls scored yet another sixth-inning run, then added two more in the seventh off Bolasky. Dan Hemberger replaced Bolasky with one out and two runners aboard. He induced two groundouts to end the game.

Shawn Betz and Dan Pierce led the Owls with two hits and two runs batted in each. Pierce did it with two hits with the added pressure of his young nephews chanting "Uncle Dan, Uncle Dan, use your power hits" from behind home plate.

Limeport will turn to Ryan Walter to pitch tonight. The Quakertown High product has played the field this year but injuries and a deep staff have kept him from the mound, according to Lane.

Gabelsville will turn to Brock Laubenstine (5-1).

Neither pitcher has faced his finals opponent during the season.

Limeport Bulls     040 020 4 — 10 13 1

Gabelsville Owls  000 101 2 —  4   7  4

Bolasky, Hemberger (7th) and Swatsky. Konnick, Mayza (6th), Stapleton (7th) and Zakszeski. W—Bolasky (8-2). L—Konnick (5-2).

2B: L-Hemberger; G-Pierce. HBP: L-Zimmerman by Konnick; G-Umstead by Bolasky, Kalejta by Bolasky, Schwager by Bolasky. DP: L-1; G-1. CS: G-Sullivan by Swatsky. SB: L-Cudwadie.


Bradley A. Huebner is a freelance writer.


From The Morning Call -- August 7, 2010

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