Coplay captures Tri-County seasonal crown
Of The Morning Call
In the midst of the
celebration following Coplay's 9-7 victory over Upper Perk last night to clinch
the Tri-County League seasonal championship, player- manager Lou Falco explained
the meaning of his team's nickname - the Serpents. "It's easy . . . Serpents
sting, and that's what we do . . . we sting," said Falco, who predicted his
club's 2-0 knockout of the defending champion Chiefs in the best-of- three title
series. "It's just something we started in the last year or so. When we need it,
we sting the opponent. It's a perfect nickname for us."
Perk was stung by Coplay in the last two nights. The Chiefs blew a 9-0 lead in
dropping Wednesday's opener 12-11 and then squandered leads of 5-3 and 7-5 last
night before a few hundred folks at Upper Perk High School.
Coplay, which won
the Tri-Co's regular season title for the first time in its five-year
history, rallied for three runs in the bottom of the seventh to take
Game 1 and made the seventh its key inning last night as it pushed
across the game-winning runs with two out.
chopped out an infield single in the hole between short and third with the
bases jammed for the go-ahead run and Mark Csencsits was plunked with a
pitch with the bases loaded to force home an insurance tally.
"It wasn't the
prettiest hit I've ever had, but I'll take it," said Eric Csencsits of his
game-winner that capped a 4-for-4 night. "It was a high pitch and I went
after it, chopping it. I just wanted to create something. Fortunately, it
went into the hole and was hit just slow enough for me to be able to beat it
Eric Csencsits' hit
followed by Mark Csencsits getting hit capped a nightmare for the Chiefs
that actually began in Coplay late Wednesday night.
"Losing that 9-0
lead was a nightmare that was hard to forget . . . everything just fell
apart," said Upper Perk player-manager Bob Graber, who was the losing
pitcher last night. "We battled back hard tonight, but they were just too
strong. They deserved to win. It just seemed like we didn't have the killer
instinct. We just couldn't hold on to the lead."
Actually, it was
Graber's Chiefs who staged the evening's first comeback. Coplay jumped out
to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first - an RBI-bunt by Jeff Erie, an
RBI-single by Scott Morgan and a throwing error.
However, Upper Perk
answered right back in its portion of the opening inning as Graber singled
in one run and Scott Baker delivered a bases-loaded double that made it 4-3.
Then in the second, Jon Yeakel doubled and wound up stealing home on the
back end of a double- steal to put UP ahead by two.
The Chiefs didn't
have that leading feeling for long. Coplay knotted it up in the third on an
RBI-double by Morgan (3-for-3, 2 doubles) and a run- scoring single by E.
Csencsits. Even when UP went back ahead in the fourth on an RBI-single by
Graber and a run- scoring double by Todd Swenk, the Chief faithful could not
rest easy. They knew better.
"We never give up,"
said Falco, whose team improved to 25-4. "What more can I say? I've been
saying it all year. Just so many different guys contribute. Whenever we need
a key hit, we get it."
In the sixth, it was
Falco himself who got the key hit as a pinch- hitter as his shallow fly to
left somehow eluded three converging fielders, allowing E. Csencsits to
coast home from third with the tying run. Csencsits had reached third when
his RBI-single to right went through the legs of Chief right fielder Kelly
Adamitis and to the fence.
The ball kept
rolling Coplay's way in the seventh as Chuck Mondschein and Randy Remaly got
things started with seeing-eye hits to left and center, respectively. John
Marushok moved the runners to second and third with a sacrifice bunt and
they stayed there as Erie lined out to second.
After Graber issued
an intentional walk to Morgan, E. Csencsits came through with his
game-winning chopper and all that Coplay needed was to get three outs in the
near-darkness of the seventh.
Randy Baer, who
wound up as the winning pitcher in both games, walked Swenk to start the
seventh and was immediately pulled by Falco. Jim Emerick, who was rocked
around Wednesday night, gained revenge as he came on to get Joe Ricapito on
a double play grounder and then fanned Matt Duka to end it.
From The Morning Call --
August 5, 1988
The Morning Call