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Sports Article
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Grant Templeton Catches on with Blazers
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            When Grant Templeton signed with the Quakertown Blazers, his projected playing time was scare. According to Manager Chris Ray, the plan was to utilize him

Grant Templeton, an East Greenville resident,

has earned regular playing time with the

Quakertown Blazers.

mostly as a bullpen catcher.

            "Regardless of how much he played, Grant was going to get better," Ray said.

            However, injuries forced the East Greenville resident into the Blazers lineup. According to the manager, Templeton's determination has helped him remain in their catching rotation.

            "Grant has turned himself into a legitimate part of the team," Ray said.

            Over the last three weeks, Templeton, 22, has split time behind the plate with JR Gifford, a sophomore from West Chester University. In 18 games through July 27, the freshman at Montgomery County Community College has gone 6-for-35 at the plate with 6 RBI while swinging a wooden bat against the best pitching he's ever faced.

            "Grant has made huge strides," the manager said. "On defense, he's learning how to handle pitchers. "On offense, he's very focused on making solid contact the plate."

            On Saturday, Templeton caught seven innings of Quakertown's 11-9, 10-inning loss to Allentown in the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League. His brother Lance delivered a sacrifice in the fifth inning to spark six-run rally. Injuries forced the team to sign Lance Templeton, a 2019 graduate of Upper Perkiomen High School, to a one-game contract.

            Nolan Graber, Quakertown's ace pitcher, replaced Lance Templeton in the Blazers' lineup in the seventh inning.  The Upper Hanover resident received two rare plate appearances, working a walk in the bottom of the 10th inning.

            Graber, a 2017 graduate of Upper Perkiomen High School, has registered a 4-2 record in eight starts for the Blazers. The right hander, who has allowed 44 hits in 47 innings while posting a 3.83 ERA, is expected to start their playoff opener  on the road Friday night against the Trenton Generals.

            "The summer is going pretty well," said Graber, who missed half of his sophomore season at Ursinus College this spring with a shoulder injury.

            Grant Templeton, Graber's former Jr. Legion teammate, followed a circuitous route to college baseball.  He played during his freshman and sophomore years at Perkiomen School before finishing his high school education through the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School.

            He played for Perkiomen's American Legion baseball team as 16-year-old, did not play the following summer and competed for Lansdale as an 18-year-old. After taking two years off from the sport, he enrolled at MCCC and decided to go out for the team when he found it needed a catcher.

            "I decided to give it a shot," Grant Templeton said.

            Graber said he is not surprised Grant Templeton earned regular playing time and the respect of his teammates. "Grant shows up every day and does the best he can," said Graber, who backed up Templeton behind the plate on the 2013 Upper Perk Braves, who finished second in the state tournament in Homer City. "He jumped right into learning the pitchers."

            Grant Templeton would like to continue playing beyond community college. He said hopes to eventually transfer to a four-year institution. Ray said he can envision the catcher competing at most Division III school, and even some Division II institutions if they are the proper fit.

            The Blazers ended their season on a six-game losing streak. On Sunday, they were swept in a road doubleheader by the Jersey Pilots. Graber absorbed the loss in the second game, an 8-1 defeat. In a playoff tune up, he tossed four innings. After throwing three clean innings, the Pilots rallied for five runs in the fourth.

            "I gave up a few seeing-eye hits, then surrendered a big run-scoring hit," Graber said. "That's baseball."

            On Monday, Quakertown fell 10-0 to Allentown on the road. The following night, the team was swept by the Railers in a doubleheader at Memorial Park Stadium.






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