Gabelsville pounds Limeport 12-3
Eight starters have two hits apiece as
the Owls grab a 2-0 series lead over the Bulls.
LIMEPORT -- It is a well-known fact that Owls sleep during the day and are
awake at night. Well this group of Gabelsville Owls were wide awake from the
get-go Saturday evening at beautiful Limeport Stadium as every starter had a
hit. In fact, eight of their starters had two hits as the Owls
tallied 13 singles and 17 hits overall en route to a 12-3 thrashing of the Bulls
for a 2-0 stranglehold on the best-of-five Semifinals series.
What is more impressive is that the Owls scored their 12 runs off two veteran
pitchers who have dominated the Tri-County League in the late 1990's and early
part of this century. Chad Arnold and Pat Toner do not dominate the league like
they used to, but they still win more than they lose because they will rarely
beat themselves, they will make the opposition beat them.
And that is exactly what Gabelsville did.
Despite the fact that Arnold and Toner did not offer a single free pass to the
always patient Gabelsville hitters, a rare feat that is worthy of note, it did
not matter as the Owls did plenty of damage with their bats.
Jon Kalejta launched a 3-2 pitch to deep left-center for a one-out double in the
first. Rich Kropp followed with a single to left to put runners on the corners.
Pete Colon ripped a 1-2 curve up the middle for a RBI single and it was 1-0
Gabelsville. Kyle Hoffman looped a 2-2 curve to left-center to score Kropp and
make it 2-0 Owls. A fielder's choice put runners on the corners with two outs.
And here is where these fundamentally sound bunch of Boyertown players
manufactured themselves a two-out run. Bill Kropp stole second, and when the
throw there was late, Colon scampered home on the back-end of the double-steal
to make it 3-0. Matt Danner obviously did not feel like stranding a runner in
scoring position, so he delivered a well-placed RBI single to left and it was
Arnold had two strikes on seven of the eight batters in the first frame, yet Gabelsville
managed to work the counts deep and muster four big runs in the 43-pitch inning.
It was obvious that Arnold was not going to be going all seven on this night unless
he settled down and had some quick innings.
Which he did.
After Limeport's Shawn Brown lifted a two-out homer to left-center to cut the
deficit to 4-1 in the first, the pace of the game quickened, as Arnold and Owl's
starter Mike Furman exchanged goose-eggs in the second and third innings.
No such luck in the fourth.
Mike Ziemak singled to center and A.J. Bohn singled to right-center to put
runners on first and second to start the fourth. Everyone in the stadium knew
that the prototypical Boyertown baseball play in this situation, the sacrifice
bunt down the third-base line, was coming next. But after a failed sacrifice
attempt made the count 1-1, skipper Doc Moyer shunned the Boyertown Bible and
decided to let Kalejta swing away. The result was a slicing double down the
right-field line that scored Ziemak easily from second, and Bohn not quite as
easily from first as the relay throw from Joe Pochron made it home in time to
get Bohn on a bang-bang play, but as home-plate umpire Hal Grahn raised his arm
to make the out call, the ball was then dropped for an E-2, so only one RBI for
Kalejta, not that Gabelsville cared as it was all the same to them, a 6-1 lead
and Kalejta on second. A passed ball moved him to third and Rich Kropp promptly
lofted a sacrifice fly to center and it was now 7-1 Owls. Next up was Colon, who
singled to left, and Toner was then brought into the game and Arnold's night
The Bulls would make some noise in the fourth. Brown led off with a walk and
Pochron followed with a single. Two outs later, Christian Bensing walked to load
the bases, so Limeport manager Chris Parsell sent up pinch-hitter Jeff
Cavanaugh, who could potentially get Limeport two, three or four runs, with one
swing of his powerful bat.
But now the chess match was on.
If the fourth inning can be compared to the Sicilian Defense
opening of a chess match, then it appeared as though Parsell was employing the
old Accelerated Dragon maneuver by pinch-hitting Cavanaugh and Doc
Moyer would have none of it. Moyer would surely counter this move with the
Yugoslav Attack maneuver, which he did, by lifting Furman for relief
ace Todd Stapleton.
Although Furman, a southpaw, was pitching well, allowing just three hits and one run to this
point of the game, Moyer realized that one swing of the bat from Cavanaugh (a
powerful right-handed batter) could
get Limeport back into the game. So he lifted the rookie for Stapleton (their
right-handed closer), who
promptly squelched the rally with a strikeout.
Toner cruised through the fifth. Stapleton wasn't as fortunate in his half of
Mike Krauss lined a single to center to start the inning. After a fly-out, Kevin
Kershner tripled to the right-center field gap and it was now 7-2 Gabelsville.
Brown grounded to second to plate Kershner, and it was now 7-3 Owls.
Both pitchers breezed through the sixth, but Toner finally faltered in the
seventh, after retiring eight of the nine batters he had faced.
A towering 420-foot double to deep center by Hoffman started the seventh. Bill Kropp singled and stole second to put runners on second and third. Danner laced
a RBI single to center and Matt Dierolf followed with a RBI single to left and
it was 9-3 Gabelsville. An out later, Bohn ripped a two-run double to
right-center and after a fly-out, Rich Kropp closed out the scoring with a RBI
single to right-center. Owls 12, Bulls 3.
The Bulls now have the Herculean task of erasing a 2-0 deficit in this series as
they head to Gabelsville on Sunday.
Bohn, Kalejta, Rich Kropp, Colon, Hoffman, Bill Kropp, Danner and Ziemak all had
two hits for Gabelsville, while Joe Pochron was 2-for-3 and Shawn Brown homered