Perry scored three runs in a wild scramble in the bottom of the seventh inning Monday at Progressive Field against Raccoon River Conference foe DC-G. Unfortunately for the Bluejays, the two unearned runs they allowed in the top of the inning proved to be the difference as the Mustangs held on for an 8-6 win, their 13th victory over Perry in the last 16 games between the two teams.
The Bluejays trailed, 6-3, when the visitors used Perry defensive lapses to add what proved to be a pair of critical insurance runs for an 8-3 lead.
Mustang southpaw Jake Lewis had allowed three runs (two earned) on two hits and three walks while striking out eight in six innings when he was lifted for Cole Baker to start the bottom of the seventh.
Two hit batsmen and a walk loaded the bases, with a throwing error and another defensive miscue sending three Bluejays across the plate with no one out and runners still on base.
Nate Kearney replaced Baker and promptly struck out the number 3-4-5 hitters in the Perry lineup to silence the rally and collect a save.
In contrast, the 7-8-9 hitters in the DC-G lineup had entered the contest a combined 4-for-43 on the season but went 5-of-8 with two walks to lift the Mustangs.
Perry had jumped to a 2-0 lead when Jeremiah Ellett walked and avoided being picked off in a rundown thanks to a throwing error. Will Whiton followed with a walk with the runners moving up on a ground out. Both scored when Michael Lansing reached on a bunt hit, with an overthrow of first base allowing the runs to race home.
Whiton started for Perry and struggled with his control. He walked a batter in each of the first three innings but was able to avoid damage thanks in part to four strikeouts in the same span.
The fourth inning was another matter entirely, as 11 Mustangs came to plate. The guests had three singles and two doubles to go with a trio of walks as six runs scored for a 6-2 lead.
The damage would have been worse had it not been for a fine play early in the frame from second baseman Nic Wilhelmi, who gathered in a bloop single deep behind first base and fired a long strike across the diamond to third baseman Blake Lansing to nail Lewis, who was trying to advance from second after holding up to see if the ball would be caught.
Perry added a run in the fifth to trim their deficit to 6-3, with Cavan Finn replacing Whiton on the mound. Neither team scored in the sixth, setting the stage for a wild final frame from both teams. Official pitching stats for Perry were not available.
Thursday, June 6
BALLARD 6, PERRY 0
SLATER — Perry had just four hits and surrendered four unearned runs in a 6-0 loss to Ballard in RRC play June 6.
Ballard received a strong pitching performance from junior Coy Baker, who walked just two batters while striking out eight in tossing a complete game.
The Bombers gave their starter the only support he would need by plating four runs in the bottom of the second inning, with two additional runs in the fifth frame assuring victory.
Clean-up hitter Collin Fopma had a double for the hosts, as did pinch-hitter Jacob Nethers, with the ninth hitter in the lineup, Jacob Bernholtz, recording two hits and driving in two runs.
Ellett threw all six innings for Perry in a losing cause. He allowed six runs (two earned) on 11 hits and two walks while striking out three.
Whiton, Wilhelmi, Levi Halling and Michael Pentico had singles for the Bluejays, with Ben Daniels and Blake Lansing reaching base by drawing walks.
Wednesday, June 5
BONDURANT-FARRAR 2, PERRY 1
BONDURANT — The first of two RRC battles between two of the three teams using the nickname "Bluejays" in Iowa went to the hosts, as Bondurant-Farrar scored once in the bottom of the sixth to win a close battle with Perry.
Michael Lansing put Perry on the board first with a solo home run in the first inning, but B-F answered with a tally of their own in their first at-bat.
The rest of the contest developed into a pitching duel between Whiton and B-F senior Tyler Ramus. The former went six innings, yielding two runs — one of them, critically, unearned — on six hits and two walks while the latter scattered three hits while walking only one and yielding just the lone run on Lansing’s homer. Whiton finished with three strikeouts and Ramus with six.
Cavan Finn, Blake Lansing and Ellett had singles for Perry, with Ellett also drawing a walk.