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 Friday, August 5, 1988

SPORTS

 C-3 


 

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."

Certainly, Upper 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.

Eric Csencsits 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 out."

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.



keith.groller@mcall.com

  

From The Morning Call -- August 5, 1988

Copyright 1988, The Morning Call