Saturday, February 04, 2023


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Sports Article
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Chiefs Back on the Field After 13 Year Absence
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            The Upper Perk Chiefs returned last week, following a 13-year absence, with consecutive losses. Manager Elias Gabel-Tripp said he was hoping for better results, but expressed optimism that performance will improve.

Bryan Pijanowski steals third base for the Upper Perk 

Chiefs during the game against Pottstown.

            "It's early, and this is a young team," he said.

            The Chiefs, wearing uniforms similar to their previous iteration, debuted in the Perkiomen Valley Twilight League with an 8-3 loss to Pottstown on Thursday, May 16. The next night, they fell 13-2 to Ambler at Bonekemper Field.

            After the fog rolled in Friday night, the visiting Brewers scored once in fourth inning and six runs in the sixth inning to extend a 5-2 lead.

            As the haze overtook the field, and the visibility was reduced to dangerous levels, Gabel-Tripp said he expected the home plate umpire to postpone or call the game.

            Gabel-Tripp and Logan Curley each delivered an RBI single in the fourth inning for Upper Perkiomen. Darin Pijanowski absorbed the mound loss, permitting five earned runs on nine hits in four innings.

            One night earlier, the visiting Spartans scored three runs with Gabel-Tripp on the mound in the fourth inning to extend a 4-3 advantage. Pottstown starter Nathan Michener permitted three unearned runs and four hits over six innings to record the victory.

            Tom Spratt delivered the Chiefs' only RBI. Bryan Pijanowski, Logan Curley and Gabel-Tripp each had a hit and scored a run.

            On Monday, Upper Perk (0-4) absorbed a 6-5 walk off loss to Trooper. Logan Curley finished with two hits, including a double, with one run scored and one RBI. Zach Zappo added a hit, a run and an RBI. The next day, the Chiefs lost 19-1 on the road to Gablesville.

            Despite the losses, the players are having fun, according to Gabel-Tripp. Curley, a 2017 graduate of Upper Perkiomen High School, decided to play for the Chiefs because it is close to home and many of the players are familiar faces.

            "I am having fun because I'm playing decent competition with friends and teammates I have played with for years," Curley wrote in a text.

            The team features a distinct local feel. All but five of the players are graduates of Upper Perkiomen High School, and the average age is between 19 and 21. According to Gabel-Tripp, all but three of the players have recently played the sport at some level in college.

            The new manager is still experimenting with the lineups. He said the team was missing eight or nine guys for the Ambler game, and that jobs or family responsibilities will likely prevent every player from attending each of the 28 regular season games. The key, according to Gabel-Tripp, is making sure as many players as possible play in enough games to be eligible for the playoffs.

            All but five of the players are graduates of Upper Perkiomen, and the average age is between 19 and 21. Gabel-Tripp said he expects interest in the team to increase as the weather improves, and that former players are helping to inform the public.

            "My expectations are for us to get better with time because I figured us to start slow with people playing for the first time in a while," Curley wrote. "But I figured once we knock the rust off we can improve significantly."






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