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States Pitches Upper Perkiomen to Win in Season Finale
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
2018-05-17

            As a freshman, Don States got cut from Upper Perkiomen's baseball team. The player was unable to compete physically, according to head coach Frank Mercon.

Upper Perkiomen catcher Lance Templeton reaches
back to catch a pop up and end the final game of
the season, a 4-3 victory over Pennridge

            "The field was too big for me," States said. "I didn't have enough strength."

            The next year, States made the junior varsity team after growing four or five inches. Mercon said he was impressed by the determination.

            Last week, as a junior, States pitched the Indians to a 4-3 non-league victory over Pennridge. Through five-plus innings, he allowed just two runs on three hits to earn the victory. 

            "I was very impressed with myself and the defense," States said.

            Hunter Gooch doubled twice for Upper Perkiomen (5-14 overall, 4-12 PAC), which scored single runs in the first, second, third and sixth innings to end its season with consecutive victories.

            Heavy rain early Saturday morning led to the cancellation of the team's final scheduled game at home against Daniel Boone.

            "We're hitting the ball incredibly well the last couple games," Mercon said after the win over Pennridge. "We're doing a good job putting the ball in play."

            Pitching ino the sixth inning on Friday, May 11, against the visiting Rams, States issued just one walk and struck out seven. Mercon said the performance earned him the opportunity to contend for innings next season.

            "Don threw strikes," the coach said. "He was very effective."

            States said the performance will help motivate him to work harder to earn additional playing time for next season. He credited the Indians' defense, which did not commit an error.

            "They had my back," States said. "They played very well."

            The most significant defensive play came in the top of the seventh inning, when relief pitcher Justin Wornham backed up an errant cutoff throw from the outfield on a triple that brought Pennridge within 4-3. Mercon called the play "ginormous." States, watching from the dugout, said he thought the wild throw might allow the potential tying run to score.

            Wornham induced the final two outs in the seventh inning to notch a six-out save the preserve the victory. 

            Gooch's initial double drove in a run in the first inning to put the Indians ahead 1-0. He scored on a single by States in the third inning. In the second, Lance Templeton singled, stole second and scored on a hit by Wornham. Charlie Haag's RBI-single in the sixth opened a 4-2 advantage.

            On Wednesday, May 9, Gooch's pitching and a 15-hit barrage lifted them to an 18-2 victory over Pottstown. In five innings, Gooch struck out 14 and allowed just two hits.

            Eric Schneider delivered three hits, drove in three runs and scored twice for Upper Perkiomen, which scored seven runs in the third inning and nine in the fourth inning to cap its Pioneer Athletic Conference schedule.

            "I have no idea why it took so long for the team to come together," States said. "The chemistry is finally starting to gel."


 

 

 

 

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