The Boyertown Area Times
Upper Perkiomen rallies in seventh for win over Pottsgrove
Drew Graf didn’t waste any time when he came to the plate as a pinch hitter with the score tied and the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning on Friday afternoon. The Upper Perkiomen junior lined the first pitch to center field to give the Indians a 4-3 win over Pottsgrove in a Pioneer Athletic Conference Frontier Division contest at Bonekemper Field.
That was the third straight come-from-behind win for Upper Perk (1-2 Frontier, 2-3 PAC, 5-4 overall), which trailed 3-2 coming into the seventh, but got a big boost when Jack Schramm doubled with two strikes to start the inning. Ryan Van Bramer took the tough-luck loss for the Falcons (2-2, 2-4, 3-6).
Schramm doubled to left on a 2-2 pitch after the Indians had been held to just three hits and a pair of unearned runs up to that point.
“That was huge with two strikes,” said Upper Perk coach Frank Mercon. “It happened on Wednesday when Braden Rieg had two strikes and hit a double off the fence.”
“That was the plan,” said Schramm. “Get on base any way possible, and it worked.”
Schramm advanced to third on a bunt hit by Evan Sands and scored on a squeeze bunt by Tyler Forrest, who was out on the play with Sands speeding to third. Then the Falcons intentionally walked the next two batters and brought the infield and outfield in for Graf.
“When they brought the infield in, I just wanted to put it in the outfield someplace,” said Graf, who usually starts at third base, but was given a day off in the field. “Hit a line drive. Just don’t put it on the ground.”
“He’s a good hitter,” said Mercon. “I had him on the bench. The opportunity was perfect at that moment. He can drive the baseball. I was looking for someone who can drive the ball to the outfield. It was the perfect situation for him.”
Both teams scored an unearned run in the second, Pottsgrove’s on a bad throw on a steal attempt and Upper Perk’s on a two-out RBI single by Sands after a twobase outfield error to start the inning. The Indians took a 2-1 lead in the fifth on a bunt hit by Forrest, a hit batter and a throwing error as the Falcons were trying to complete a double play.
Then Pottsgrove, which was had no hits through five frames, scored two in the sixth to take the lead on a line drive single to right by Carter Burg, a bunt single by Koda Browne, a sacrifice bunt by Van Bramer and a two-run single by Evan Radomicki.
But Rieg came on and fanned two in a row to end the inning and then pitched a scoreless seventh with the help of a controversial runner’s interference call that wiped out a Falcon run and ended the inning.
The Indians had won 8-6 in eight innings at Boyertown on Wednesday after Rieg’s double tied the score in the seventh and 9-8 in nine innings against Oley Valley last week after coming from behind twice.
“It’s certainly a roller coaster,” said Schramm. “We always have faith coming into the seventh inning. One of our coaches said there’s no time on the scoreboard.”
“The game’s seven and they know said Mercon.
Schramm had been starting on the mound earlier in the year, but has switched to a relief role due to some arm problems. He came on in relief in the third and got the Indians out of a basesloaded jam with a grounder to short.
“He’s a two-to-three inning guy at the most,” said Mercon. “But he got the job done and got us out of the inning.”
“I was feeling better,” said Schramm. “I wasn’t sure if I was going to pitch today. I felt good warming up.”
Graf gave credit to the junior varsity team, which had finished its game on a nearby field and come over to lend support to the varsity. innings it,”
“They’re really important to us,” said Graf. “They came into the dugout and they helped cheer on the team. We’re definitely rolling right now.”