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On This Date (April 8, 2005): Spotts stymies Weatherly

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Since May of 1999, the Times News Sports Department has featured an On This Date practically every day, highlighting an event that happened in the past. With the coronavirus putting a halt to sports locally and nationally, the On This Dates have been expanded to the stories that actually ran in the next day’s newspaper. Today’s On This Date story is from April 8, 2005).

By Joe Plasko


Shane Spotts was spot on.

The Tamaqua sophomore righthander stymied visiting Weatherly on three hits Friday as the Blue Raiders earned an 8-1 non-league triumph.

Spotts was sharp all through his complete game stint, fanning eight and walking just two.

His pitch location was solid as he retired the first 13 Wreckers he faced, carrying a perfect game into the fifth.

“I got ahead of the hitters,” said Spotts. “Andy (Snyder, the Raiders’ catcher) and I tried to go inside-outside on them. I threw mostly fastballs and then curve balls when I needed to.”

Tamaqua coach Jeff Reading likes what he has seen in Spotts so far as his squad improved to 2-1.

“We lost our opener to Tri-Valley, but I was pleased with a lot of positives in that game, and one of them was Shane on the mound,” said Reading. “His pitching showed I have a good number two guy (behind ace Kory Bates). We only start two seniors, and we need some of the young talent to step up and Shane’s been doing it.

“I was looking to throw someone else today, too, but the way he was throwing, he had only 53 pitches after six innings, so there was no reason to take him out.”

Weatherly hurler Nick Frederick used his off-speed deliveries to keep Tamaqua off balance, but the Raiders displayed the ability to manufacture runs, swiping six bases to keep the heat on.

“We do have some speed, and to be able to steal as many bases as we did showed another tool we can use,” said Reading.

“We had the right calls on those steals, but we didn’t execute defensively,” said Weatherly coach Bob Lutzick. “We’re young, and we haven’t had a lot of work outside. We’re struggling a bit, but we’ll get straightened out.”

Mark Mehalko led off the Raider second with a single, stole second, was bunted to third by George Zubey and crossed the plate on an RBI single by Josh Zukus for a 1-0 Raider edge.

Tamaqua tacked on a three-spot in the third.

Ryan Gerber and Jim Bumbulsky walked, with Gerber scoring on an errant throw to third as he advanced on a wild pitch.

With two out, Bumbulsky came home when Mehalko hustled to first on an infield grounder, forcing a wide throw. Zubey followed with a double to center to plate Mehalko.

Singles by Bates and Spotts and a perfect bunt by Mehalko loaded the sacks in the Raider fifth. Bates scored when Mark Angst’s grounder to short was bobbled, and a sacrifice fly by Zukus plated pinch runner Mark Mazur.

Tamaqua’s final tally came in the sixth on a grounder by Mehalko and a looping RBI single by pinch hitter Zack Devlin.

The Wreckers (1-3) picked up their lone run in the fifth when Jeff Witner bunted and reached on an errant throw, was sacrificed to second by Mike Zubritsky and scored on a single up the middle by Fredericks.

Dave Sartori and Witner added singles for Weatherly.

Weatherly 000 010 0 - 1 3 5

Tamaqua 013 022 x - 8 8 1

Frederick, Oshura (6) and Craig; Spotts and Snyder. W - Spotts. L - Frederick.

Tamaqua's Shane Spotts delivers a pitch during the 2006 season. TIMES NEWS FILE PHOTO