Pessimism for one;
Satisfaction for another
Of The Morning Call
As of yesterday
morning, the Quakertown entry in the Tri-County League was 11-4 and just 1 1/2
games out of first place in the league's South Division standings.
Yet, after his team
dropped a 13-5 decision to Upper Perk Saturday night at Quakertown's Community
Park Field, Q-town player-manager Chip Friday hardly sounded like a guy whose
team was in a pennant race.
"I'm not very
optimistic," said a downcast Friday after the Chief scalping that was halted
by darkness in the top of the seventh inning.
we're just not up in the class of Gilbertsville or Upper Perk yet. We don't
execute the basics like they do. We're not covering first base on bunts,
we're not hitting the cutoff man on relay throws; we're just lazy at times."
Another thing that
had Friday peeved was that Quakertown played the game, a key one in terms of
the league standings, without its regular shortstop and catcher.
"We were missing two
key guys tonight (Saturday) which hurt us both offensively and defensively.
They just didn't show up for some reason. It just seems like some of our
guys don't care. We've got a competitive record and we've just about
clinched third place in our division because the other three teams have
fallen way back.
"I guess the rest of
our guys are satisfied with that, and that's where we'll finish. But I'm
certainly not satisfied."
Perk player-manager Bob Graber was most satisfied with his team's
performance on Saturday and in general this season.
The Chief victory
put them at 10-2 and a half-game ahead of long- time, backyard rival
Gilbertsville. The Rangers are 9-2 after yesterday's game with Delaware
Valley was postponed. Upper Perk and Gilbertsville square off tonight in
"We've been hitting
the ball real well most of the season and everyone has been contributing,"
said Graber, who contributed himself with a two-run home run Saturday night.
"We've got basically the same group of guys we've had the past couple of
years with a few young additions. We're not really surprised with how we're
"We're not overly
confident either. Two years ago, we got off to a fast start and won our
first 12 games. But we didn't win the league title that year. But for right
now, I'd say we're right at where we should be for the talent we have on
Upper Perk got a big
performance from Tom Cichocki Saturday. He went 3- for-4 at the plate with
two runs scored and two RBI. He also worked on the mound, entering the game
in the bottom of the sixth. The righthander got out of a bases-loaded,
one-out jam without yielding a run.
Second baseman Matt
Duka, center fielder Todd Swenk, right fielder Rob McFarland and Graber all
had two hits in the 15-hit Chief explosion Saturday. Graber said his team
had something to prove Saturday night. Quakertown knocked off Upper Perk 4-2
on May 13 - the opening night of the season.
opening night) didn't set too well with us and I think we wanted to show
them something tonight," said Graber, whose team is coming off an 18-9
campaign in 1986.
Friday, whose team
is showing a remarkable improvement from its 13- 14 mark a year ago, agreed
that his team didn't want Saturday's game as much as the Chiefs did.
"I think they (Upper
Perk) wanted to prove that they are the better team, and at this point, I
think they obviously are," said Friday, whose team gets back into action
tonight when they visit North Division-leading Coplay at Sammy Balliet
Stadium. "I didn't really think that opening night game proved very much. It
was a typical opening night where we both were shorthanded and missing key
skepticism about his team's ability, Graber thinks Quakertown will be a part
of a three-team battle for the top spot in the South that will last right
until the regular season concludes July 26.
"I think it's going
to be a three-team dogfight," the Upper Perk skipper said. "There's kind of
a natural rivalry between Quakertown, Gilbertsville and us and all of the
teams are doing well. It should be real interesting the rest of the way."
Upper Perk last won
the league championship in 1983, under the leadership of Bill Solivan. The
Chiefs also were Tri-Co champs in 1979 and '80. Gilbertsville has taken the
last three league titles and Quakertown hasn't won the championship since
1975 when the club was managed by Clyde Smoll.
From The Morning Call --
June 22, 1987
The Morning Call