Wednesday, November 30, 2022


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Sports Article
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Fourth-inning Rally Lifts Braves to Regional Title
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            After rolling to three easy victories, Upper Perk's Youth Legion team faced a stiff challenge Monday in the Avon Grove Regional Tournament. The team responded

Brayden Adam makes contact at the plate for Upper

Perk's Legion team.

admirably, clinching a return trip to the state tournament.

            A three-run rally in the fourth inning helped lift the Braves to a 6-2 victory over Danville in the tournament's semifinal round at Avon Grove High School. The outburst snapped a 2-2 tie.

            Upper Perk and Taney were named co-champions. Inclement weather forced the cancellation of their title game later Monday afternoon. Both teams qualified for states, which begins Friday in Homer City, located in western Pennsylvania.

            Kyle Mazzie stood out at the plate and on the pitching mound in the decisive contest for the Braves (28-6-1), who went 4-0 during the tournament and allowed just three runs. He finished with two hits and one RBI. In six innings of work, Mazzie scattered seven hits and two walks, allowing only two second-inning runs.

            Evan Sands also had success with the bat and on the mound. He reached base safely in all three of his plate appearances. His RBI double in the fourth inning highlighted the decisive rally.

            Sands also worked a perfect seventh inning to secure his team's state tournament return.  He registered one strikeout.

            Owen Williams finished with two hits and one run scored, Jack Schramm and Connor Gehman each added one hit and one run scored for Upper Perk, which scored two unearned runs in the top of the first to take an early 2-0 lead. They capped the scoring with an unearned run in the seventh.

            The team dominated pool play, permitting just one run in three consecutive victories on its way to the semifinals. Its offense delivered 32 runs, 21 hits and stole 14 bases in the three games.

            The offensive outburst overshadowed a no-hit pitching performance by Ryan Sink on Monday against Swoyersville. He faced the minimum in an 11-0, five-inning win. However, a fifth inning error cost him a perfect game.

            On Friday, the Braves opened the regionals with a 6-1 win over Taney. Jack Schramm allowed one earned run over five innings on the mound. He scattered four hits and worked around two walks.

            Mazzie went 3-for-3 at the plate for Upper Perk, which rallied for three runs in the top of the fifth inning to snap a scoreless tie. He scored one run and stole three bases.

            Owen Williams registered two hits, scored one run and drove in one. He also stole a base for the Braves, who swiped six bases. Zane Saeger notched a hit, drove in a run and scored one.

            The following day, the Braves needed just three innings to beat Myerstown, 15-0. Cole Pierce did the most damage for the team, which took command with a 10-run rally in the top of the first inning.

            At the plate, Pierce delivered two hits and drove in three runs. On the mound, he allowed just one hit in two shutout innings.

            Brody Weiss reached base in four consecutive plate appearances. He posted two hits, drove in two runs and worked two walks for Upper Perk, which added five additional runs in the third inning to invoke the 15-run rule.

            Brayden Adam contributed two hits and drove in a run. Saeger scored twice and drove in two runs. Brandon Godshall, Pierce's replacement on the mound, scored two runs before pitching the third inning and securing the berth in Monday's semifinal.

            On Sunday, the Braves offense continued to roll. They needed only four innings to post their fourth consecutive victory. A two-run rally in the bottom of the inning secured their meeting against Post 40, the No. 2 team from the other pool.

            Playing as the home team, Upper Perk scored nine runs in the first inning. Schramm reached base in all three of his plate appearances. He went 2-for-2 with a double and scored two runs.

            Evan Sands doubled and drove in three runs. Pierce registered a double, scored twice and stole two bases for the Braves who maximized their six hits and made the most of six Swoyersville errors.

            Sink registered nine strikeouts and did not allow a hit or a run. He threw 79 pitches, including 50 strikes.






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