PERRYSBURG- In what would be labeled as a pitcher’s dual in every sense of the phrase, Perrysburg manufactured a run in the bottom of the second to utilize their homefield advantage to defeat Wauseon, 1-0, Saturday morning.
The Indians were beaten by Anthony Wayne in game one of the consolation bracket to eliminate them from the District III tournament. Perrysburg emerged as the district champions on Sunday by defeating the Generals.
“It came down to one timely hit. They had three errors (and) we had our chances,” Wauseon coach Doug Rupp said on the loss to Perrysburg. “We couldn’t get a couple of bunts away from the pitcher.”
The pitching in the contest was nearly equal as both pitchers, Kyle Dekoninck of Perrysburg and Nate Suntken for Wauseon, allowed two hits and struck out four.
Suntken rebounded from a particularly poor outing against Napoleon the Saturday before and had just one slip up in the second as Rupp referenced to give the Yellow Jackets the early lead.
“He really worked at it this week. He was unhittable,” Rupp said of Suntken.
The Indians went 1-2-3 in both the top of the first and in the second to create an opportunity in the second.
Tyson Kleinfelter’s one-out walk got it going. Then Gus Dimmerling hit a fielder’s choice to move up Kleinfelter and a single by Austin Mezinger scored the game’s first and only run.
Wauseon played errorless defense to keep the Jackets off the scoreboard the rest of the way, allowing their offensive opportunities in both the sixth and seventh innings.
The Indians got their first two batters to reach in the top of the sixth and a bunt by JJ Kauffman put runners on second and third with only one out. However Dekoninck thrived under the pressure of the moment, striking out Peyten Shadbolt and getting a fly out from Jacob Newlove to end the threat.
Wauseon’s final at bat in the seventh began with Suntken reaching first on the Jackets third error of the ball game. Brady Rupp flied out for the first out of the inning, however, Jac Flory walked and Suntken stole third to put runners on the corners.
Coach Rupp then made a gutsy call and instead of allowing Carter Bzovi to bat and maybe get a sacrifice fly to score Suntken, he chose to have him bunt to put both runners in scoring position. The move was successful but with two gone, Caleb Andrews flied out to end the game.
So again Dekoninck was able to stave off the Indians.
“Their left-hander wasn’t overpowering but his fastball had a lot of movement to it. Then he had that little curveball. He was in and out,” Rupp said of Dekoninck. “Thought for sure after seeing the kid pitch the first couple of innings we were kind of getting at him a little bit. But he just kept us on our heels.”
As for the choice to have Bzovi bunt instead of bat, Rupp noted that the struggles offensively helped aide his choice.
“We kind of rolled the dice there at the end. Just felt that since we hadn’t been hitting the ball we had to try to get a bunt down. It was a safety squeeze,” he said.
Flory and Andrews had the two knocks for the Indians while Mezinger and Seth Durham had the only two hits for the Yellow Jackets.