Things to Know: Bluejays’ future and past on display

Sean Cordy - Correspondent
Fausto Beato looks to get on base during Perry's match-up with Ogden earlier this season. PHOTO BY SEAN CORDY/THE PERRY CHIEF

Another season in the books, Perry entered the season with unfinished business. After going winless in 2019, the Bluejays pulled away with a pair of wins to take advantage of staying free of COVID-19’s grasp.

Here are three things to know about the season that almost never-was.

Scoring went up, down, and sideways

Playing a condensed schedule of 15 games compared to 24 last season, Perry’s offense still managed to show improvements as a whole group. Despite the nine game difference, both the 2019 and 2020 teams finished with four games scoring at least five runs.

The 2019 squad did however have higher peaks with two games of 10 runs while eight runs against a winless team were the most the Jays posted this year. Since both teams were shutout four times apiece, those bigger scores benefited Perry’s average run differential of 6.3 runs in 2019 and 7.7 this season as both teams suffered four shutouts.

Seniority mattered

Perry’s seniors were invaluable assets this season. As key catalysts that helped snap the multi-season losing streak, the college-bound Kato Dougan, Avery Meister and Keghan West were responsible for over half of the Bluejays’ production at the plate.

With all four holding an on-base percentage of .400 or better, they also made up 48 percent of the team’s total hits. No other senior class in the RRC held a higher rate through the regular season.

Not only did they bring significant plate presence, they also left their mark in the bullpen. While the whole team dealt an ERA of 8.9 for the regular season — a dozen opponents scored over 10 runs and won before all seven innings finished — West and Meister had particular high notes.

In the two shutouts Perry posted, Meister and West had field days on the mound.

Meister’s 15 strikeouts against West Central Valley was the highest mark among RRC pitchers. The next in line were two Winterset sophomores with 11. West’s 10 strikeouts to defeat ACGC were the fourth-most.

The future is now

If there is any question about the disparity between the pools of talent spread throughout the conference, this serves as staggering proof of the eight ball Perry was behind in RRC this season.

Four of eight teams’ entire production came from upperclassmen. By contrast, 43 percent of the Bluejays’ total bases came from their sophomore and freshman classes. Only Carlisle had a higher rate (45 percent).

Of the 17 underclassmen in the conference to register a hit, six of which contributed to Perry’s season. Freshmen Fausto Beato and Gavin Hegstrom and sophomore Caden Steva all grabbed eight hits to rank sixth overall among RRC underclassmen. Beato also saw action from the rubber and struck out 11 batters in 11 innings.