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Sports Article
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Kressly, Templeton Rally Upper Perkiomen Baseball to Victory
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            After watching Arick Kressly deliver an errant throw to first base on the first ball put in play, Lance Templeton noticed frustration wash over his pitcher.

David Kilroy tags a Pottstown runner at first base during 

Upper Perkiomen's victory on Friday.

            "Arick has a tendency to let get a little worked up when something bad happens," said Templeton, Upper Perkiomen's catcher. 

            Following Templeton's mound visit, Kressly appeared to calm down. The hurler minimized the damage in the first inning, then tossed five solid innings in an 11-3 victory over visiting Pottstown in the Pioneer Athletic Conference on Friday, April 12.

            Kressly scattered three hits and allowed two unearned runs while striking out two. Baxter Sewall worked the final two innings, allowing just one walk and striking out five.

            "Arik has a tendency to let his emotions get the better of him," Templeton said. "As soon as he calms down, he starts throwing strikes.

            Lance Templeton finished with three hits to pace a 14-hit barrage for the Indians (5-5 overall, 4-4 conference). Malachi Duka notched two hits and scored twice. Lynch, Pat Mininger and Zach Schaffer each registered two hits. Macauley Swenk scored four runs.

            On Monday, they rode a dominant pitching performance by Hunter Gooch to consecutive conference wins with a 4-1 road victory over Pope John Paul II.

            "We're a pretty decent team," head coach Frank Mercon said. "We have a great group of players. We have some of the same issues as last year in that we've lost a few one-run games. But I'm a lot more optimistic moving forward. I feel like we're a better team, and we're going to start winning those games."

            Against Pottstown, the game's first hitter bunted a pitch back to Kressly, who fielded it cleanly, but slipped on the throw to first. The errant toss, and a walk to the No. 2 hitter, put runners on first and second with no out. A double steal advanced both Trojan runners into scoring position.

            "Arik has a tendency to let his emotions get the better of him," Templeton said. "As soon as he calms down, he starts throwing strikes.

            Mercon made a mound visit, as well. The coach implored his pitcher to focus on the next hitter.

            However, Kressly allowed just one run, on a ground ball. He retired the final three hitters of hitters on a strikeout and two grounders.

            Upper Perkiomen scored three runs in the first inning. Schaffer's RBI single cappped the rally. The team added one run in the second on a bloop hit to right field by Lynch and two more in the third inning to go ahead 6-0 on a single by Templeton and a bases loaded walk to Swenk.

            According to Mercon, Templeton – who came into the game against Pottstown hitting .500 – has thrived in the No. 2 hole. The player, who lives in East Greenville, came into the game hitting 500, has relied on a simple approach at the plate.

            "Lance also bunts very well," the coach said. "And he's an excellent base runner."

            The Trojans added two runs in the top of the fourth inning on a groundout and a single by Josiah Wiggins. With two outs and runners at the corners, Daulten Mullen smacked a hard ground ball down the third base line. However, third baseman Bobby Lynch made a diving stop, stood up and delivered a chest high throw to first base the end the inning.

            That's the best defensive play I've seen this year," Mercon said. "It was huge. Our guys can field."

            The Indians responded with five more runs in bottom of the fourth inning, taking advantage of three Pottstown errors and sending 10 hitters to the plate. Evan Shade's sacrifice fly opened the scoring. Wornham delivered and RBI hit.

            Against Pope John Paul II, Gooch did not permit an earned run over five innings of work. The lefthander allowed just two hits while striking out 10.  Malachi Duka tossed two shutout innings to secure the win.

            Templeton drove in two runs for Upper Perkiomen, which scored three runs in the first inning and led 4-1 after two innings. Lynch added two hits.

            Swenk smacked two home runs for the Indians on Wednesday, April 10. However, it wasn't enough to overcome a 6-5 loss to Phoenixville. He finished with three hits, including a double, for the Indians, who rallied in the final three innings. Down 6-2, they delivered one run in the fifth and seventh innings, and two in the sixth.

            Duka drove home two runs for the team, which finished with nine hits. Starting pitcher Hunter Gooch absorbed the loss despite allowing just three earned runs on six hits over four innings.

            Both of Swenk's homers were hit to center field. Mercon estimated the length of the first blast at 425 feet.

            "Both of the homers were crushed," the coach said. "Macauley's approach has improved so much since last season. It's night and day better."






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