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Mercon’s Objection Leads to Ejection
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
2022-04-27

            If the play had been closer, Frank Mercon said he would have briefly argued the call, then walked away. However, Upper Perkiomen's head baseball coach felt the need 

            "When a call is made that was as bad as what occurred, I will fight for this

Upper Perkiomen's third baseman, Owen Williams, left, coll-

ides with a Norristown base runner attempting to return to 

third base on Monday.

team," Mercon said. "The play wasn't remotely close."to express his displeasure more forcefully with the umpire who made the game-ending call in a 3-2 loss to Pope John Paul II last week in the Pioneer Athletic Conference.

           The coach served his first career suspension following his second ejection in 25 years with the program following a 45-second, post-game interaction with the base umpire on Friday, April 22. He missed a 10-1 road loss to Boyertown the following day. On Monday, Mercon watched Evan Wittig lead the team to a 5-0 victory over Norristown at Bonekemper Field from a door leading to the high school's training room.

            Against the host PJP, with two outs and the tying run on second base in the top of the seventh inning, Devlin Kranich lined a pitch up the middle. The ball, which deflected off the pitcher, ended up near the second baseman, who threw it to first.

            Kranich was two steps past the base when the Pope John Paul II first baseman caught the throw, according to Mercon. He said the opposing players were laughing about the call in the handshake line, and that the opposing coach told him the runner was clearly safe.

            In retrospect, Mercon said he probably should have shown more restraint during the interaction. However, he doesn't regret standing up for his team.  "It potentially cost us a win, and we can't afford to give away wins in this conference," the coach said. "We work way too hard to have wins taken away."

            The Panthers scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth inning off Blake Gehman without a hit. Starting pitcher Nate Reinhart allowed just one earned run on four hits while registering 10 strikeouts.

            Braden Rieg delivered two of the Indians' three hits and drove in both their runs. Tyler Forrest registered the other hit.

            Mercon said he appreciated the fact that the players were upset with the defeat. According to the coach, they took it to heart.

           "They believe in their abilities and what this team can do," Mercon said. "They don't like to lose."

            On Saturday, April 23, the Indians (6-3 PAC, 7-4 overall) fell behind early at Bear Stadium. Kranich delivered two hits and drove in their only run in the second inning on a single to center field. Rick Rossiter coached the game in Mercon's absence.

            Tyler Forrest also registered two hits and scored their only run. Rieg posted their only other hit at Bear Stadium.

            Aidan Keyser absorbed the mound loss. The Tribe starting pitcher worked into the fifth inning, allowing five runs on six hits.

            Brandon Shane finished with two hits and scored two runs for the host Bears, who extended a 2-1 lead by scoring five runs in the fifth inning and three more in the sixth. Evan Hetrick added two hits and scored a run.

            In the fifth inning, Boyertown took advantage of three walks and one hit batsman to build a 7-1 advantage. Peyton Moyer delivered an RBI single.

            Ryan Maloney's two-run home run capped a sixth-inning rally. He scored two runs.  Evan Hetrick tossed five innings to earn the mound win for the Bears. He allowed one run on three hits.

            On Monday against the visiting Norristown Eagles, Wittig went the distance on the mound. The lefthander scattered five hits and struck out nine without issuing a walk.

            Rieg delivered two of the Tribe's six hits. Kranich, Brandon Mazzie and Kyle Mazzie each drove in runs for the team, which scored all its runs in the initial three innings.


 

 

 

 

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