Friday, January 27, 2023


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  • Tribe Wrestling Qualifies for District One Team Duals
  • Hang Earns USA Swimming Scholastic All-America Honor
  •  Perkiomen Swimmers Drop Meet to Blair
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  • Fisher, Lesko Receive All-SEPA Honors; Freed Named Co-Coach of Year
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Sports Article
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Wornham Feeling Comfortable at Shortstop
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            As Upper Perkiomen's baseball team develops its pitching and figures out its offense, the team will rely on its defense to compete early on. The unit has made significant strides since last season, according to head coach Frank Mercon.

            "Our defense should be pretty good," he said. "Our infield will be very strong."

            Justin Wornham will be a key performer at shortstop. The coach called the senior an excellent defender and an effective leader.

            "Justin has a tremendous glove," Mercon said. "He always makes the routine play."

            On Monday, the Indians opened their season with a 2-0 loss to Pennridge. Starting pitcher Aric Kressly absorbed the loss despite allowing just two runs on two hits in four innings. He registered six strikeouts.

            Baxter Sewall, Pat Mininger and Evan Shade each had a hit for the visiting Indians. Malachi Duka tossed two shutout innings in relief. Five Pennridge pitchers recorded nine strikeouts.

            Led by co-captains Wornham and Hunter Gooch, who will continue his career at deSales University, Upper Perkiomen looks to improve on last year four-win performance in the Pioneer Athletic Conference and 5-14 overall record. Wornham, who said it was too early to predict a win total, expressed a "good feeling" about the season.

            "I feel like will be able to scratch out some early runs with our speed," he said.

            After playing third base last season and earning first team All-PAC honors, Wornham shifted back to shortstop where feels most comfortable. According to Mercon, the senior has looked good in the field.

            "Justin has a tremendous glove and a very strong arm," said the coach, whose team is scheduled to open its conference season at home against Pope John Paul II on Wednesday, March 27.

            Wornham said he has felt more comfortable at the position during two scrimmages this spring than ever before. Even the balls in the hole between him and third base, to his backhand, seem reachable.

            "I like the idea of being in charge of the infield," said Wornham, who will continue his career at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.

            According to Mercon, Wornham leads with encouraging words. However, the players says positive actions can be more effective.

            Wornham could be joined in the infield by senior Nick Medveckus, juniors Dave Kilroy, Sewall and Bobby Lynch and sophomore Evan Shade. Lance Templeton, a senior, is a returning catcher.

            Swenk, juniors Mininger and Zach Schaffer, senior Cam McKeehan and Duka, a sophomore, could see time in the outfield.

            Beyond Gooch, Don States, Aric Kressly and Duka are competing for a spot in the starting rotation. Mercon counts 10 pitchers overall, including Macauley Swenk, Sewall, Lynch, Shade and Wornham, who will likely work in relief.

            "We have depth," the coach said.  "We don't have any experience. We're going to have to build a pitching staff."

            The coach said he expects the offense to take a step forward. According to Mercon, the Indians hope to improve in close games after suffering nine one-run losses in 2018. To that end, the players spent six weeks during the offseason studying "The Mental Game of Baseball: A Guide to Peak Performance" by Harvey Dorfman.

            According to Mercon, the book - which helped propel Roy Halladay to a Hall of Fame - is intended to help his players handle the pressure of late-inning situations.

            "We'll see how it works," the coach said.






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