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Sports Article
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Braves Start State Title Defense Strong
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            Despite a slow start, Upper Perk's defense of its Youth Legion title is gearing up. The team recently reeled off five consecutive victories.

Nate Schramm slides safely into third bse on a steal during the second 

inning of Upper Perk's 18-8 win over Spring City.

            The Braves have set their sights on a fourth consecutive appearance in the state tournament. According to manager Jack Schramm, the six returning players from last season's championship team need to play a key role in getting them there.
            Three returning starters and three key reserves from the 2024 squad helped Upper Perk Kiwanis reel off five consecutive victories last week. The team improved to 4-0 in the Berks County League with an 18-8 victory over Spring City on Saturday, June 1.

            Nate Schramm, Benjamin Sands and Benjamin Godshall started on the team that won last year's title in Berwick. Grayson Sabo, Zachary Adam and Liam Weiss made significant contributions off the bench.

            "We're a young team," the manager said. "We've got some big shoes to fill."

            Despite a subpar effort, the Braves (7-4) needed five innings to defeat the Red Sox at Bonekemper Field. Sabo delivered three hits and scored three runs.
            Sabo has been one of the team's top offensive performers. He went 10-for-13 with 11 RBIs and scored six runs during the four-game league stretch.

            "We've hit the ball very well during this stretch," said Schramm, whose team lost three of its initial four games.

            Against Spring City, Upper Perk utilized an offensive outburst in the bottom of the third inning to overcome an 8-7 deficit. Ethan Robinson's two-run single highlighted a six-run rally.

            Sands added an RBI during the inning for the Braves, who took advantage of two errors to score five unearned runs. Ethan Robinson's infield single plated courtesy runner Jake Pedrick in the fifth inning with the decisive run.

            Callen Schantz earned the mound victory in relief. He tossed 2 1/3 shutout innings while allowing just one hit.

            Sabo went 3-for-3 at the plate and scored two runs. Robinson and Jake Pedrick each scored two runs and drove in two.

            Sands, the leadoff hitter, drove in two runs and stole three bases. Nate Schramm also stole three bases. Ryan Cairns swiped a team-high four bases.

            Upper Perk overcame an ugly third inning. Six walks, one hit batsman and one error helped Spring City score seven runs, including five unearned, to go ahead 8-7.

            "The guys lost their focus," the manager said.

            The following day, the team split a doubleheader. It defeated the Breaker Boys, 14-4, before losing, 5-2, to the FTW Commodores on June 2.

             Sabo led his team to an 18-5 victory over West Lawn last weekend in six innings in the Berks League. He finished with four RBIs, including a two-run homer in the fourth inning, and two hits on Friday, May 31 at Owls Field in West Wyomissing.

            Weiss delivered a team-high three hits for the Braves, who scored three runs in the second, fourth and fifth innings to snap a 4-4 tie. Nate Schramm added two hits, drove in three runs, scored four and stole two bases. Cairns scored four runs, while Sands scored three for Upper Perk, which took advantage of 10 errors and finished with 14 hits.

            Aiden Zuelch started on the mound for the Braves. He worked three innings. Sands earned the victory in relief. He allowed one unearned run while striking out five.

            Upper Perk needed only five innings to defeat NorChester. During a 14-1 victory on May 30, they scored in their four at-bats.
            Sabo registered three hits, including two triples, and a two-run single, and stole a base. Cairns and Adam posted two hits, two RBIs and scored three runs. Adam, Sands and Sabo each drove in two runs during the third-inning outburst.
            Weiss went the distance on the mound. He scattered four hits and struck out seven on 75 pitches.
            Upper Perk posted a 10-3 victory over Perkiomen Valley. Three pitchers combined to allow one earned run on four hits on Tuesday, May 28 at Bonekemper Field.
            Sabo led an 11-hit barrage. He delivered two hits, including a home run, and drove in four runs.
            Sabo's three-run homer in the second inning highlighted an eight-run outburst to put Upper Perk ahead 9-0. Nathan Schramm, who went 4-for-4 at the plate and finished with three stolen bases, added a two-run single.
            Sands and Weiss each finished with two hits for the Upper Perk, which took advantage of six errors by the visiting Raiders to score eight unearned runs. Sands scored two runs.
Robinson earned the mound victory in relief. In two innings of work, he allowed two hits and two unearned runs.






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