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Sports Article
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Errors Costly for Braves
Written by Bradley Schlegel Correspondent

The Braves' Robert Guzman tries to avoid being tagged out at first base by the Grizzlies' Cory Melchior in Monday night's game at Upper Perk.

First place Boyertown Grizzlies win, 3-1.

        Since a slow start, Upper Perk's Junior Legion team has made a strong push for a top-four finish in the Twin County League and a postseason berth.              

        "We have been playing the kind of baseball I expected," Braves manager Perry Breyer said. "This is an experienced team. The offense has been coming through in the clutch, the defense has really tightened up, and we've been pitching well."

        On Monday, Upper Perk hit a speed bump in its bid for the playoffs. Jared Waldman pitched the Boyertown Grizzlies to a 3-1 victory at Bonekemper Field.

        Waldman, a lefthander, allowed just one unearned run on two hits. He struck out three and issued just one walk.  "Waldman had our number," Breyer said. "He did a good job keeping the ball down in the strike zone. He got a lot of easy outs."

        Tyler Keyser drove in the only run for the Braves (8-7 league) in the sixth inning. His single to center scored Nick Schmoyer, who reached on a bunt hit and took second on a throwing error.

        Bo Duka added a single in the fifth inning for Upper Perk.

        "I was hoping we could continue to play the way we've been playing most of the second half of the season," Breyer said.

        After losing four of their initial five league games, the Braves won seven of their next nine league games.  "We've been hitting the ball very well, and making all the plays in the field," Breyer said.

        On Monday, the first-place Grizzlies took advantage of four Upper Perk errors to score three unearned runs off Robert Guzman and Trevor Stephen to avoid getting swept in the three-game season series.

        Nolan Kline delivered a two-run bloop single down the right field line in the third inning to open the scoring off Guzman. Cory Melchior's hit up the middle in the sixth staked them to a 3-0 lead.

        Guzman, Upper Perk's starter, allowed three hits and two walks while registering one strikeout in four innings.  According to Breyer, the pitcher showed signs of fatigue.  "Robert's mechanics looked a little sloppy," the manager said.

        Stephen came on in the fifth inning, and surrendered a hit and two walks to load the bases with one out. He fell behind 3-0 to the Waldman before Breyer made a visit to the mound.  "Trevor was rushing his delivery," the manager said. "He was all out of synch. I told him to slow down, and he did exactly that."  Stephen struck out Waldman, then induced a fly ball to end the inning.

        The Braves, who entered Monday's game in fourth place, control their own fate in the playoff race with three league games remaining.

        They take on Spring City twice and host Phoenixville on Sunday in the regular season finale.

        According to Breyer, the game against Phoenixville, who began play Monday in fifth place, one game behind Upper Perk, could determine his team's playoff outcome.






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