It will take athleticism like that of Upper Perk player Devyn Kerr to help propel the Indians to a spot in the PAC-10 Final Four and then onto District 1 playoffs.
Anyone who has followed the up and down 2012 Pioneer Athletic Conference baseball season knows just how unpredictable the results have been.
Upsets were aplenty, and the teams that established themselves early on as the league favorites have been upstaged by a late surge of playoff contenders hoping to lock up a Final Four playoff berth and set the tone for the upcoming District 1 playoffs.
Suffice it to say that the only thing that could be expected this spring on the diamond was the unexpected.
Just ask Upper Perkiomen head coach Frank Mercon.
The second year head coach said he would have found it hard to believe before the season that his team would have defeated Boyertown, Spring-Ford and Owen J. Roberts and still be a game under .500 heading into the final week of the regular season.
“The league has been very competitive this season,” Mercon said. “All of the teams have started to catch up with the front-runners and there has just been an overall parity. But the better teams in AAAA have started to pull away the past week.”
Mercon is hoping his team will do the same. With three games left in the season, Mercon said a spot in the PAC-10’s Final Four will require Upper Perk to run the table against struggling Pottstown and Pottsgrove before taking on a solid Phoenixville team at home Friday night. The Indians will also need some help from the Phantoms, who need to slide in their final contests to give the edge to the Tribe (7-8, 8-9).
“We’ve struggled to put together solid back-to-back games in all phases of the game,” Mercon said. “We will put together a great game, and then come back with a mediocre effort. We haven’t been able to put a stretch together where we are consistently pitching, hitting and playing defense well. We have consistently found ways not to build on a good win but hopefully we will make that change – we still have potential.”
If Upper Perk isn’t able to eke its way into the league playoffs, the Indians are hoping that winning two of its final three games will be enough to make it to districts. Not to take the oh-so dangerous peak ahead to the postseason, but Mercon said he likes his chances. That is if his team can show a solid effort, and do it on a more regular basis.
Monday night’s rain forced the Tribe to postpone its game against the Falcons, who defeated the Indians by one run nearly a month ago, to tonight. Wednesday night, in a game too late for this paper’s deadline, Upper Perk traveled to Pottstown to take on the 4-12 Trojans. Those two games will set the stage for tomorrow night’s regular season finale against Phoenixville (10-5) at home.
“If we can put three wins together this week that is huge this week for getting into districts,” Mercon said. “We will see how things go this week and will build on that. The one key will be our pitching, we don’t have a lot of depth, but it’s time where those guys that need to step up do so and make a difference.”