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 Thursday, July 18, 1984

SPORTS

 C-3 


 

Upper Perk Nips Quakertown




Of The Morning Call



With the game on the line and his team without a manager, Upper Perk's Bob Graber figured he had better do something in last night's Tri-County League game against Quakertown.

So, he did.

Graber went to the pitching mound and got his Chiefs out of a seventh-inning jam, preserving a nail-biting, 5-4 win at Quakertown's Memorial Park.

With his team ahead 5-3, the bases loaded and nobody out in the bottom of the seventh, Graber had to take charge.

Since Upper Perk manager Bill Solivan had to leave the game a few innings earlier because of a personal commitment, Graber was left in charge of the team. He took out pitcher Tim Fox who had held Quakertown to just one run through six innings and put himself on the pitching rubber.

"When Bill isn't here, I'm generally the guy who takes over - even though it's pretty rough to run the team when you're playing," said Graber. "We talked it over and Tim told me he just didn't have it anymore. At that point, I wanted to have the game in my own hands. So I went to the mound."

Graber recorded a popup for the inning's first out and then got Rod Rush to hit into a fielder's choice which scored a run making it 5-4. But with the tying run at third, Graber jammed Tom Hangey and got him to hit a weak groundball to third for the game's final out.

Upper Perk had gone into the seventh with a 5-1 lead, thanks in large part to excellent defense, including a rare triple play in the bottom of the sixth.

With runners at first and second in the sixth, Quakertown's Bill Sigmans rammed a line drive at Chiefs' shortstop Pete Hoff. Hoff snared the ball and flipped it to second baseman Biz Keeny for the second out. Keeny then fired the ball over to first baseman Joe Ricapito who hadthe ball well before the stranded runner could make it back.

"That's the second time I've been involved in a triple play and it's also the second time it came against Upper Perk," said Quakertown player-manager Chip Friday. "The first time was probably back in 1969 when I was playing for Quakertown High and we were playing Upper Perk on this same field."

Undaunted by the rally-buster, Quakertown stormed back in the last of the seventh. Mike Schaeffer singled and Jim Bevan, making his first plate appearance of the game, slugged a two-run homer over the fence in left-center. Friday, Scott Davis and Scott Myers all followed with singles before Graber came to the rescue.

Graber also played a key role in the Upper Perk offense with two run- scoring singles. The Chiefs took advantage of an error to score a run in the second on Kevin Stahl's run-scoring single and then added another marker in the third on one of Graber's RBI-singles.

Singles by Jim Stratton and Hoff set the stage for two more runs in the fifth. Graber walked to load the bases and Glenn Mensch walked to force in one run and Todd Swenk's long sacrifice fly scored the other, making it 4-0.

Quakertown scored an unearned run in the bottom of the fifth before the Chiefs scored what proved to be the game-winning run in the top of the seventh when Hoff walked, stole second (one of five stolen bases Upper Perk had in the game) and scored on Graber's hit.

"It seems like the team as a whole is really jelling this year," said Graber, who was selected MVP in the Tri-County League All-Star game last Saturday. "Everyone is performing to the best of their ability. I really feel like we're one of the best three teams in the league, along with Gilbertsville and Limeport."

The win kept the Chiefs one game behind Gilbertsville in the loss column in the Tri-County's Southern Division. Upper Perk is now 15- 5, while Gilbertsville is now 19-4. Meanwhile Quakertown, having a much better year than most expected, fell to 11-10.

* In another Tri-County game, Mike Kline knocked in a run in the first and Randy Conrad followed with a two-run single to lead host Gilbertsville to a 12-4 win over Silver Creek.

Gilbertsville scored early and often en route to the victory. Kline carried the heftiest bat for the host team, going 4-for-4 with two RBI. Jeff Evans drove in three runs in a 3-for-4 effort, while Bill Sassaman and Conrad added two hits each.

Tom Hiriak picked up the win after giving way to Lew Chillot in the sixth. Hiriak is 3-0 thus far. Gilbertsville unleashed a 14-hit attack in the game, with Evans bumping a double for the team's only extra-base hit.



keith.groller@mcall.com

  

From The Morning Call -- July 18, 1984

Copyright 1984, The Morning Call