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  • January 11, 2024
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From last to first! With the help of a few sports writers from Schuylkill County, that is the route taken by the Mount Carmel Area North Schuylkill League Baseball Champions in 1965. Coming into the season, the Red Tornadoes had lost 6 talented starters from the 1964 team that had gone 9 and 5, so many of the pundits had Big Red finishing no better than last or next to last. Led by co-captains Frank Bolick and Jim Bush, the Tornadoes opened their season with a 2-1 victory over Mahanoy City behind Bolick’s 3-hit, 16 strikeout performance. Opening day starters were Jerry Delaney at third, Greg Doviak in right, Bolick on the mound, Jim Bush at short, Steve Zarlinski behind the plate, Ray Bartosic at first, Bob Shannon in left, Bob Fracalossi in center and Jake Wojcik at second base. Other contributors were Anthony Thomas, Dick Bridy, Frank Niglio, Al Bressi, Tom Taddeo, Paul O’Brien, John Linetty, Vic Zanella, Bob Coyne, Joe Haffey, John Grodzunaki, Mike Szymanski, John Tarlecky, Mel Graham, Tom Orzechiwski, Bill Ayres, Mike Raulinaitis, and Coach Theodore “Tufky” Andrulewicz.

Doviak and Bolick would then 2-hit Ringtown in a 3-2 win, followed by a Bolick 4-1 win over Saint Clair. Bush would pick up the win against Frackville by striking out their clean-up hitter with the bases loaded to end the game. Bolick would follow up with a 2 hit 5-1 win over Panther Valley to go 5-0. Bush would then pitch the Tornadoes to a 2-1 win over Ashland before Bolick would lose his first in an 8 inning 4-3 loss to Shenandoah. Bush would go 3 for 3 and pitch a 7-hitter in a 4-3 win over the Bears of Mahanoy City. The Tornadoes would then get by Saint Clair and Ringtown before the most controversial game of the year with Frackville. With the Tornadoes leading by a score of 8-3 in the 6th, the Frackville coach was charged with unsportsmanlike conduct when he was heard telling his pitcher to hit Bolick for the third time in that game. The game eventually ended in a forfeit. The win gave the Tornadoes a 10-1 record and a virtual lock on the championship. That game also ended Bush’s 10 game hitting streak.

The Tornadoes, with Doviak on the mound, would pick up win number 11 by rallying in the 7th to overtake Panther Valley by a 3-1 score. Heroics were provided by Bartosic, Bridy, Fracalossi, Ayres, Bressi and Jerry Delaney. MCA officially clinched the title with a 2-hit, 10-strikeout shutout by Bolick over Ashland 2-0. The win would mark the 200th win in MCA’s baseball history. The Tornadoes would avenge their only loss by virtue of Bush’s 3-hit, 11 strikeout performance in a 4-3 victory over Shenandoah. They would eventually lose to Sunbury by a 5-4 score in the opening round of District IV play, but would savor their second Schuylkill League Championship.

This championship was unique in that the Tornadoes hit only .214 as a team, committed 35 errors, had only one 300 hitter (Bush at .333) and did not his one home run during the season. They won 6 games by 1 run, 2 games by 2 runs and 3 games by 3 runs. All they did was win!

Categories: 2005 Hall of Fame