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Sports Article
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Warriors Ousted in MBC League Playoffs
Written by Bradley Schlegel Staff Reporter

Braves batter Soran Svanson breaks his bat during a game on Thursday, July 14. Svanson and the Upper Perk Warriors defeated North Parkland 6-5 in the final MBC League game of the season.

        The Upper Perk Warriors didn't last too long in the MBC League playoffs. They managed just two runs overall in consecutive losses to Boyertown and Perk Valley.

        Following an 8-1 season-ending loss to the Perk Valley Raiders on Tuesday, each of the players removed their gray jerseys and placed them on a pile near third base at Baker Field.

        "Only one team is going to be happy when the season ends," Warriors manager Rich Kressly said. "That's the state champion."

        Defensive struggles hurt Upper Perk (14-11) in the post-season, according to Kressly.   

"We put ourselves in some jams," he said.

        Against Perk Valley, two base running blunders quelled some early-inning opportunities. 

"They really hurt us," the manager said.

        The Warriors, a Prep Legion team made up of 13-year-olds, ended their regular season on a high note, rallying from a four-run deficit in their final two at-bats to post a 6-5 victory over North Parkland.

        Down 5-1 in the bottom of the sixth inning, they scored four runs on five consecutive singles and a sacrifice fly by Soren Svanson to force a 5-5 tie.

        In the seventh inning, Upper Perk loaded the bases on three consecutive walks before Conor Martin's line single to right ended the game.

        Dalton Dunlap earned the victory with thee shutout innings of relief. He was aided by shortstop Zach Smith's unassisted double play in the top of the fifth inning.  Dunlap, Smith, Matt Martin, and Shane Mohan each collected two hits in the victory.

        In their playoff opener against Boyertown on Monday, the No. 6 seeded Warriors forced a 1-1 tie in the top of the sixth on a single by Dunlap. The hit scored Martin.  But the host Bear Paws rallied for four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to win 5-1.

        Dunlap and Garrett Knowles each finished with two hits for the Warriors, who finished with eight hits overall.

        Though Kressly described the loss as somewhat deflating, he said there was no carryover into Tuesday's game.  "The guys were ready to play," the manager said. "This team has been playing strong all season. We've had several stretches of games four or five days in a row."

        The following day, against the No. 7 seeded Raiders, after Upper Perk starting pitcher worked around a pair of singles and an error in the top of the first, the team's initial two runners reached base in the bottom of the first.

        However, Warriors leadoff hitter Malachi Duka got picked off at second base for the first out of the inning. Perk Valley pitcher Gabe Mallo the recorded two strikeouts to end the inning.

        In the top of the second, the Raiders registered three unearned runs off Upper Perk starting pitcher Zach Smith.  Dunlap, who delivered two hits, drove in the team's only run in the fourth inning on a sacrifice fly.

        Meanwhile, Smith settled into a groove. He allowed just one hit over the next three innings before tiring the sixth, when Perk Valley scored once to extend its lead to 4-1.

        "This is a competitive group of players," Kressly said. "Down the road, I can see at least a handful of them making an impact at higher levels."







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