PERRY — Sometimes all it takes is a little momentum from the home crowd to get a team going.
The Commodore fans gave their players plenty of support as Perry defeated Upper Scioto Valley 7-2 in the Division IV sectional semifinal played at Paul Krouskop Field at Perry.
Perry (11-11) will square off against Allen East for the sectional title at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Perry. In the second game at Perry on Saturday, Waynesfield-Goshen beat Temple Christian 3-0.
Upper Scioto Valley (7-12) got off to a hot start to begin the game. Chance Watkins led off with a walk and Blake Watkins followed him with a double. With runners at first and third, Perry pitcher Corey Smith threw a pitch that got by catcher Ben Sanders, allowing Chance Watkins to score and Blake Watkins to move to third.
A few pitches later, another Smith pitch got by Sanders and allowed Blake Watkins to cross the plate, making the score 2-0 after the top of the first.
The Commodores responded by scoring a run in the bottom half of the first. Sanders led off with a single and advanced to second after a sacrifice bunt by R.J. King. Sanders later scored after a pitch from USV’s Shane Rofe got by catcher Cain Haney.
The Rams led 2-1 after the first.
After struggling on the mound in the first inning, Smith settled down in the second by striking out the side.
The Commodore bats began to heat up in the second, beginning with a base hit by right fielder Kavion Milligan. Sanders and King followed Milligan up with singles of their own to load the bases for Perry. Smith then drew a walk, which brought Milligan in with only one out. Sanders scored after Chad Henson drove a deep ball out to left field for the sacrifice fly. Perry led 3-2 after two.
The Rams had chances to make a comeback but fell short. They left runners on second and third in the third inning.
The Commodores added one run in the fifth. Andrew Gipson smacked a single and his pinch runner, Quis Woods, later scored off of a single by Milligan.
Perry then added three more insurance runs in the sixth. King led off with a walk and Smith was hit by a pitch. Henson followed that with a single to load the bases. King then scored off of Seth Ewing’s sacrifice fly. Andrew Russell then drove in Smith and Henson with a base hit of his own to give Perry a 7-2 lead.
“We played well and hit the ball hard,” Perry coach Mark Hoersten said. “We left a lot more guys on base than what I wanted. We might be getting our stride at the right time. We’ve been driving the ball the last three or four games better than we have the whole season, so that’s a positive sign.”
Smith was stellar on the mound for the Commodores. Smith had a complete game with 10 strikeouts, five walks and gave up six hits.
“It’s hard to pitch when it is cold,” Smith joked. “My defense played phenomenal behind me today. I had a few passed balls at the beginning but I managed to pitch through it. I felt like I controlled it really well. My catcher Ben Sanders does a great job of blocking.”
Blake Watkins went 2-for-4 with a double at the plate to lead the Rams.
“You have to hit the ball, we left a lot of runners on base,” USV coach Frank Crea said. “We needed halfway decent pitching and we needed to hit the ball that’s how we’ve won games and today we didn’t do that.”
Perry will play Allen East on Tuesday and Hoersten knows what his team has to do in order to win.
“We need to just keep hitting the ball and have good pitching, that’s what it’s all about,” Hoersten said.
Waynesfield-Goshen 3, Temple Christian 0
Waynesfield-Goshen’s Garrett Miller and Temple Christian’s Evan Sutton both put on a pitching clinic.
Waynesfield-Goshen (5-11) will take on Delphos St. John’s at 5 p.m. Thursday at Perry for the sectional championship.
The Tigers started the scoring in the bottom of the first. Lake Turner drove in Dylan Little with a single and later scored off a Gabe Hennon single to make the score 2-0. Waynesfield-Goshen scored one more in the third on Taylor Shultz’ sacrifice fly.
Miller commanded the mound all day for the Tigers. The senior allowed only two hits and had nine strikeouts and two walks.
“I felt like I had a pretty good day, the defense was behind me and it was a good all around team effort,” Miller said. “I was just throwing a fastball and a curveball. My curveball was really breaking. We just have to keep playing strong defense and hit the ball.”
Temple Christian (0-7) was happy to have Evan Sutton back, despite the loss, after missing the previous few weeks with an injury. The senior had 10 strikeouts and two walks.
“This was his first outing since he’s been on the injured list,” Temple Christian coach John Flower said. “Before this he has only started a game and a half. He pitched strikes today and it is just a shame that this was only really his third game.”
Little led the way at the plate for Waynesfield-Goshen. The second baseman had two hits and scored a run. Turner, Hennon and Shultz all had runs batted in for the Tigers.
“Garrett pitched one heck of a game,” Waynesfield-Goshen coach Jeff Schultz said. “Offensively there wasn’t a lot to talk about, we got on the board. We got some runs early and got another one in the middle. We have to come back and be better hitters on Thursday.”