PERRY TOWNSHIP ‚?? For six innings it was a pitchers‚?? duel between Perry‚??s Corey Smith and Waynesfield-Goshen‚??s Garrett Miller.
However in the seventh, Perry capitalized on two W-G errors and scored four runs to pull away for a 5-0 Northwest Central Conference baseball victory over the Tigers at Perry on Monday.
Smith allowed just one base hit, while striking out 13 batters and walking three. He threw a total of 128 pitches in his complete-game effort for Perry (7-8, 2-3 NWCC).
Miller worked 6 1/3 innings for the Tigers (2-7, 1-3). He scattered five hits, while striking out eight and walking four. Miller gave way to Lake Turner in the seventh, who closed the game out.
The lone hit W-G recorded off Smith came in the second, when Taylor Schultz singled to right field.
That proved to be the only hit for the Tigers.
Smith had a stretch in the game when he retired nine consecutive batters. He also had a span when he struck out five in a row.
‚??He‚??s done it all year for me,‚?Ě Perry coach Mark Hoersten said about Smith. ‚??The other thing is that we played a lot of games last week. We used a lot of pitchers. I really didn‚??t have a lot to go to and he‚??s my No. 1. I have a lot of confidence in him. He‚??s kind of a slow starter. But once he gets his groove, then he‚??s hard to hit.‚?Ě
At the plate, R.J. King led the way for Perry, going 3-for-4 with two RBIs. Ben Sanders, the lead-off hitter for the Commodores, jumped on the first pitch of the game and smacked a double to deep left field.
However, Miller got out of the first inning unscathed.
Perry did not score its first run of the game until the sixth inning. Austen Rush got on with a walk and was moved over to second on a sacrifice bunt by Sanders. King then followed Sanders with a single to left that scored Rush.
‚??I thought the play of the game was when Sanders laid down the bunt to move the runner to second,‚?Ě Hoersten said. ‚??I thought if we could just score a run then we might be OK. I have a lot of confidence in Corey.‚?Ě
However, W-G did have some opportunities.
Three times in the game, the Tigers left two baserunners stranded. A couple Perry errors, along with a few walks, allowed W-G to get base runners.
In the seventh, the Tigers committed two miscues in the infield and Perry showed patience at the plate as three Commodores drew walks.
‚??I feel for them (W-G) a little bit, because that‚??s exactly what we‚??ve been doing for about the last two weeks, making key mistakes or giving up key walks in crucial situations,‚?Ě Hoersten said. ‚??Tonight, we did a little better job at that.‚?Ě
For most of the game, Miller was solid on the mound. The senior right-hander retired the Commodores in order three out of the first five innings.
‚??Garrett pitched a heck of a game,‚?Ě W-G coach Jeff Schultz said. ‚??It was one of his best games of the season. We had that bad inning and had a couple errors. It got us down a little bit in a hole. ‚?ĽThey had a couple hits and there we were. We couldn‚??t get any runs on Smith. He‚??s a good pitcher. It was a good game. ‚?ĽIt was a lot closer than 5-0.‚?Ě