Kyle Fox sends the ball foul while at bat Friday against Perk Valley.
The Upper Perkiomen baseball team may not have won every game they played last week, but their fans sure have gotten their money’s worth as all three games ended in action at a team’s final at-bat.
Last Friday the Indians came back from two runs down in the bottom of the seventh inning to defeat the Perk Valley Vikings 6-5. It was the second straight game in which the Tribe found a way to erase a two-run deficit in their last at-bat and earn a victory.
The first time the two teams met this season, Upper Perk posted a ten-run first inning and never had to look back. Things would not be so simple this time around as the Vikings scored first, putting two runs on the board in the top of the second inning.
Ian Benz (3.2IP, 3H, 2R, 1ER, 4BB, 1HBP, 0K) started on the hill for the Indians and pitched himself into a jam by walking three straight hitters to start the second inning. Benz, though, would work his way out of the difficult situation limiting the damage to two runs, only one of which was earned.
“The second inning had the potential for disaster written all over it,” said Upper Perk Coach Frank Mercon. “But to Ian’s credit he made some quality pitches when he had to, and we found a way to get out of it with minimal damage.”
The Indians tied the score in the home half of the third on a base hit by Devyn Kerr, and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Kyle Saylor.
Benz pitched into the fourth, but after a two out single and a hit batter, Benz gave way to David Hoffman who threw three straight strikes to end the inning.
Upper Perk took the lead in the bottom of the fourth on a two-out single by Kerr (2-3, 2RBI, 1RS, 1BB). The Vikings tied the score in the sixth on a two-out single off the bat of Nick Koffel (2-3, 1HBP, 1 RBI).
In the seventh things began to come undone for the Indians. Nate Stross led off with a single. A throwing error on the sacrifice bunt that followed left runners on second and third. When a diving Kyle Fox came up short on Brett Davis’ flare to left field, the Vikings had taken a 5-3 lead.
Jamie Boyle reached on an error to start the inning. Kerr drew a walk. Pinch hitter Steven Bell laid down a perfect bunt. Kyle Saylor stoked a line drive to right that plated Boyle. Force tied the game on a sacrifice fly to right that scored Kerr. One pitch later the left-handed hitting Vince Boyle smoked a line drive down the left field line that scored Saylor from first without a play, giving the Tribe the 6-5 win.
Monday the Indians had been the victim of a walk-off homerun, falling to Pottsgrove 4-3 in eight innings.
Last Wednesday they trailed Pottstown 2-0 in their last at-bat, when Chad Force’s fly ball to right field dropped, clearing the bases for a 3-2 Upper Perk win.
“The loss at Pottsgrove was tough,” admitted Mercon, “but these last two wins put us back in contention. We’re just two games behind the league leader, and one game behind in the league playoff picture. If we can steal a win from one of the big schools, anything can happen.”
Upper Perk is 5-4 at the halfway point, and will be at home Friday at 4:00 p.m. against Owen J. Roberts.