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 Wednesday, August 12, 1987




Quakertown clips Upper Perk for Tri-County championship

Of The Morning Call

Quakertown manager Chip Friday wears the number '13' on his back. But certainly, he and his team didn't feel unlucky last night.

As a matter of fact, Friday's Orioles took the element of luck completely out of the third and deciding game of the Tri-County League Playoff Championship Series, as they combined a booming 11-hit attack with the nifty seven-hit pitching of Bob Drumbore to coast to a convincing 9-2 victory over Upper Perk and its first Tri-Co title of any kind since 1975.

With several hundred fans looking on at the Upper Perkiomen High School Field, Quakertown scalped the regular season champion Chiefs for the second straight night (they won the second game of the series Monday night 8-3) after suffering a 10-4 defeat in the series opener on Sunday.

"We played solid defense; we got tremendous pitching and we just took it right at them offensively," said Friday, whose team posted the best record in the club's 15-year history - 26-8. "I'd say we're definitely the best team in the league at this point of the year. I think Upper Perk was a shade better than us in the regular season and wound up winning the (South) division title. "But in the playoffs, we had to beat three real good teams - Limeport, Coplay and now Upper Perk - to win this thing. We've really come together and have played some outstanding baseball."

Friday would not get an argument from Upper Perk.

"They got hot at the right time," said Chief skipper Bob Graber, whose team closed with a 27-8 record. "They have a good team and they showed what they could do in the playoffs. They just got out on us early tonight and put it away. There just wasn't much we could do."

Upper Perk figured to have the edge entering the game with ace right-hander Tim Fox on the mound. But Quakertown quickly turned the game into a "Fox Chase."

The Orioles ripped the Chief hurler for five runs on five hits in the first inning. Singles by Dan Eckert and Bob Kile got it started and Quakertown scored its first run on an error. Then Scott Davis powered a Fox delivery over the right-field fence for a three-run home run to make it 4-0.

"I had a feeling I was going to hit a home run tonight for some reason," said Davis. "I was kind of surprised that it went, though. It felt like it was just a pop-up to me when I hit it. It was a fastball out over the plate, but it didn't feel like it was going to go. I just started running and I almost passed Bob (Drumbore, on first at the time) on the bases before I looked up and realized it was gone."

Mark Butcher's RBI-single closed the scoring in the first. Then after Upper Perk got a run back in its half of the opening frame on a run-scoring single by Todd Swenk, the Orioles resumed their pursuit of Fox in the fourth.

Eckert was hit with a pitch and raced home on Terry Keller's double off the fence in right to make it 6-1. Steve Bauder went even deeper in the fifth as he drilled a bases-empty home run over the fence in left.

When Eckert doubled and Kile ripped a 400-foot home run to left- center to make it 9-1 in the sixth, the Orioles' "Fox Chase" and their 12-year championship drought had come to an end.

Drumbore, who had baffled Upper Perk all night, gave up another run in the sixth on back-to-back doubles by Swenk and Mike Svanson. But the lefthander, who finished with eight strikeouts and just one walk, resumed command in the bottom of the seventh, notching two strikeouts before getting Graber on a slow roller to first to end it.

"I'd have to say that this championship is the most satisfying because the league has more balance now than it did when we won it in 1973 and '75," said Friday.


From The Morning Call -- August 12, 1987

Copyright 1987, The Morning Call