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Sports Article
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Upper Perk Babe Ruth Team Takes League Title
Written by Bradley Schlegel Staff Writer

Levi Gehman, a shortstop on the Upper Perk Babe Ruth team, tags out a NorChester runner caught in a rundown during the first game of the Tri-County League championship round.

        Upper Perk's Babe Ruth team brushed off a lopsided loss last week to capture the Tri-County League title. Graham Kutt tossed six solid innings to help his team defeated NorChester Black 9-3 at Boyertown Community Park on Wednesday, June 29 to clinch the title.

        "We knew we could win," said Kutt, who will be a sophomore at Upper Perkiomen High School in the fall. "We've been a pretty good team all season, and we knew we were the better team."

        Upper Perk (15-7) split a doubleheader with NorChester at Mackey Field in the conclusion of the league's playoff tournament.

        The team, which entered the six-team, double-elimination tournament without a loss, committed nine errors in a 19-4 six-inning loss in the first game, a 19-4. However, Upper Perkiomen rallied in the decisive game.

        Kutt allowed just two earned runs on two hits through six innings.

        "We knew Graham was going to show up," Upper Perk head coach Kyle Saylor said. "He's been a big-game pitcher all season."

        Kutt couldn't wait to take the mound following the team's initial loss of the tournament, its first by ten runs. Saylor called the defeat its worst performance of the season by far.

        "Graham wanted the ball," the head coach said. "You could see it in his eyes."

        NorChester pounded out 20 hits in the first game and took advantage of multitude of defensive miscues. The team batted around in the fifth and sixth innings. Shawn Kardos delivered a three-run homer in the fifth inning.  "It was completely out of character," Saylor said.

        Between games Upper Perk's players remained loose and relaxed, according to the coach. Saylor said he told the players they had just played as poorly as possible, and that they had nowhere to go but up.

        "They got to laugh and joke," the head coach said. "I told them the second game had nothing to do with the first games, and they should clear their minds and go play."

        According to Saylor, the players let out a cheer when he announced Kutt, the team's ace, would be pitching the title game.

        "We've got a confident team," the coach said. "I've been telling the guys all season that to be the best you have think you are the best."

        Saylor said he was "kind of saving" Kutt for the decisive game. The coach said his pitcher was prepared to succeed.

        According to Kutt, the lopsided loss motivated him and his teammates to battle in the second game.  "It got us really fired up to come back and try to win a championship," said Kutt, the only 15-year-old on the team.

        Hayden Fink, NorChester's starting pitcher who ended the first game on the mound, and reliever Jack Scnhell held Upper Perk scoreless through three innings.

        The team took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning on a two-out single by Cameron McKeenan.

        However, the Bulldogs scored a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the fourth to go ahead 2-1.

        But Upper Perk rallied for four runs in the top of the fifth. Drake Conklin's bases-loaded walk drove in the initial run.  One run scored on a wild pitch, and two other crossed the plate on an infield error off the bat of Sewall.






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