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Braves Reach State Title Game, Lose to Murrysville
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
2022-08-03

            A potent offense allowed Upper Perk's Youth League team to recover from an early loss and reach the title game at the state tournament in Homer City before losing for a second time to Murrysville.

2022 Upper Perkiomen Braves Baseball Team

Photo courtesy of  Robyn Schramm

 

            After dropping the opening game to Murrysville, Upper Perk pounded three consecutive opponents into submission to reach Monday afternoon's championship. But in a rematch with Post 711, the Braves struggled at the plate.

            They managed just two hits in an 8-3 loss at Commonwealth Field, falling short of a first state title. Evan Sands and Owen Williams delivered the Braves' two hits, with Sands hitting a two-run single in the top of the sixth inning to cap the scoring for Upper Perk (31-8-1).

            "Our guys were very disappointed," said Manager Rick Rossiter, whose team reached the final day of the tournament for the second straight year. "There were some tears. To make two runs like we did [and not win], it's tough."

            The Eagles had nine hits off three Braves pitchers. Josh Hudak went 2-for-4 with three RBIs.

            Chase Lemke registered two hits and Brady Yarabinetz scored twice for Murrysville, which overcame an early 1-0 deficit. The team scored twice in the second and third innings, then added three more runs in the fourth inning to build a commanding lead.

            Rossiter described Murrysville as the best hitting team Upper Perk faced all season. He said it didn't matter who pitched.  "No matter who we threw, it seemed like they were going to get hits," the manager said.

            Hudak also earned the mound victory, permitting just two earned runs over 5 1/3 innings. He registered six strikeouts, issued five walks, and did not allow a hit.  "Hudak is a very good pitcher," Rossiter said. "He really spots his pitches."

            Brody Weiss received the Elmer E. Daneker Sportsmanship Award for the Braves, who reached the title game for the second time in franchise history. The Braves achieved a record for wins in a season and collected 60 victories over the last two seasons.

            The Berks Area Youth League and Avon Grove Regional champions entered the tournament looking to improve on their third-place finish one year earlier. They opened pool play with a 6-5 loss to Murrysville at the White Township Recreational Complex in Indiana on Saturday, July 30

            The Eagles, who built an early 5-0 lead, scored the eventual winning run in the bottom of the fourth inning. The unearned tally came off Brandon Godshall, who absorbed the loss. Godshall tossed 2 1/3 innings in relief of starter Jack Schramm, who permitted five runs on five hits in 2 2/3 innings.

            Cole Pierce finished with two hits and two RBIs for the Braves, who committed four errors and had their five-game winning streak snapped despite rallying for four runs in the top of the seventh. Godshall drove in two runs.

            Schramm registered a hit, scored a run and drove one in for Upper Perk, which scored once in the top of the fourth. The Braves struck out 11 times.

Upper Perk responded with consecutive victories to advance to the semifinals, outscoring two opponents 21-0.

            On Sunday, the Braves rolled to a 12-0 win over Homer City. Weiss finished with three hits, including a double, and drove in two runs.

            Kyle Mazzie delivered two hits, drove in two runs and scored a run for the team, which rallied for 11 runs in the top of the third inning and triggered the 10-run rule after five innings. Pierce and Zane Saeger scored two runs.

            Ryan Sink and Godshall combined to allow the host Bears just two hits over five innings. Sink, the starting pitcher, walked two and struck out one in three innings. Godshall struck out three in two innings.

            The following day, the Braves rode a sixth-inning outburst to a 9-0 victory over Spring City to extend their season. Williams, the leadoff hitter, delivered two hits – including a double – scored two runs.

            Weiss, Pierce, Mazzie and Connor Gehman each posted two hits for Upper Perk, which scored seven runs in the sixth inning to extend a 2-0 lead over the Red Sox and finish with 13 hits. Saeger scored two runs and drove in one.

            Mazzie went the distance on the mound. He allowed just two hits and posted eight strikeouts to earn the victory. "After the first loss, we figured things out and got back to our style," Rossiter said. "Those three wins were tremendous."

            On Monday morning, the Braves – who finished second in pool play – needed only five innings to advance to the title game for the second time in franchise history. They eliminated Northampton with a 12-1 victory at First Commonwealth Field.

            Williams drove in three runs and stole a base. Weiss collected three of their 12 hits, including a double.

            Schramm scored two hits and drove in three runs for Upper Perk, which led 11-0 after two innings. Mazzie posted two hits and scored two runs. Brayden Adam finished with two hits, an RBI, a run scored and a steal.

            Pierce went the distance on the mound. He allowed a fourth-inning run while scattering five hits against the Bombers.  "I thought we could win both games," Rossiter said.


 

 

 

 

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