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Long Ball Dooms Tribe in 8-3 Loss to Wildcats
Written by Dave Teufel, Correspondent

Upper Perk third baseman Ryan Harris puts the tag on a Wildcat ruuner only to have the player called safe on the play in last Friday’s game.

        Mitch Bennett was a man on a mission last Friday when the Wildcats visited Bonekemper Field. The Owen J. Roberts centerfielder clanked a pair of homeruns off the scoreboard in left field that propelled the visitors to an 8-3 win.

        Bennett put the visitors up 1-0 when he homered to lead off the second inning. He broke the game open when he hit his second in the top of the fifth, a three-run blast that made the score 6-2 Wildcats.
        Though Bennett’s hot bat may have been the obvious problem for the Tribe last Friday, it has been the inconsistent offense of the past several games that has left head Coach Frank Mercon a bit concerned.
        “We talk about the need to have more quality at bats. We work on it in practice. For some reason right now, we’re struggling as a team to put multiple offensive innings together in the same game.
        Asked if he thought the incredible comeback just two nights earlier, when the Tribe scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh to upend the league-leading Boyertown Bears, had left his team flat, Mercon didn’t think so.
        “It was an emotional win, but we talked about the opportunity that win provided us. We talked about taking the bull by the horns; we just weren’t able to do it today.”
        The Tribe did have some success in the bottom of the fourth when Chad Force beat out an infield single to lead off the inning. Vince Boyle ripped a ball down the right field line that rolled to the fence for a triple. J.D. Ricapito followed with the teams third-straight hit, a single to right that made the score 3-2.
        The offense would disappear, though, as quickly as it had arrived and the Tribe would have to settle for a single run in the home sixth when David Hoffman singled to drive in Vince Boyle who had doubled.
        Ian Benz collected Upper Perk’s eighth hit of the game when he singled in the final inning, but there would be no seventh inning heroics this time around as the game would end with Benz still standing on first.
        The loss leaves the Tribe with a 6-6 record in the PAC-10. While the Tribe is only one game out of the league’s final four playoff picture, Upper Perk would have to pass two teams to claim the fourth spot.
        Even more interesting is battle for the PAC-10 bid to the district 3A tournament. Upper Perkiomen currently trails Phoenixville by a game in the standings, but could erase that with a solid finish down the stretch as the Tribe will face the Phantoms twice in their final four games.
 The first matchup takes place today as the Tribe travels to Phoenixville for a 4 p.m. game. A win against the Phantoms is likely a must to play past the final regular season game. A sweep would almost guarantee the Tribe a berth in districts. The Tribe’s season could come down to the team’s final game, a 7 p.m showdown with those same Phoenixville Phantoms next Friday at Bonekemper Field. 





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