In Perry’s 6-0 baseball win over Hardin Northern on Thursday, Ryan Yingst pitched a shutout, singled to drive in the Commodores’ first two runs and later stole home plate.
But his favorite part of the game was none of the above. It was a catch of an infield pop-up in the seventh inning that ended with him sliding into the Perry dugout as he caught the ball.
“I’d have to say the catch,” he said when asked his No. 1 moment in the Commodores’ eleventh win in 19 games.
“I stole home before this season. Getting that catch was pretty sweet. It’s definitely always good to pitch a seven-inning shutout. That feels pretty good. But that catch is probably something I’ve never done before.
“I knew I was getting close to the dugout but the slide, honestly, was just luck. I slid right under it, I had no idea where the ball was going. It just happened to find my glove,” he said.
Even though the junior left-hander said he had thrown harder in some other games, Hardin Northern had trouble catching up with his fastball. The Polar Bears managed only three hits and struck out 11 times in Yingst’s second complete game shutout of the season.
Hardin Northern pitcher Zachary Spearman was at the opposite end of the speed spectrum from Yingst, but Perry managed only three hits of its own against his array of low miles per hour offerings.
“Their kid wasn’t throwing real hard. I was hoping the second time through the lineup we’d do a little better and sit back and drive the ball,” Perry coach Mark Hoersten said. “Give him credit. He didn’t have a lot of strikeouts but all we did was hit pop ups and weak grounders. He threw strikes and kept us off balance.”
“It’s a good thing Ryan threw well because our bats weren’t there. That’s kind of been our problem all year. We’ve struggled hitting the ball,” he said.
Perry got all the runs it needed when it scored four times in the bottom of the third inning.
Brady Mulholland led off the inning with a single, Braylon Ardner walked and Joey Hoersten walked to load the bases.
Yingst then singled to right field to score Mulholland and Ardner and when the ball was mishandled in the outfield, Hoersten scored, too. Yingst scored the fourth run of the inning when he stole home, something he had also done in a game against Spencerville this season.
Perry added two more runs in the fifth inning, with J.T. Taviano getting an RBI in that inning. Perry had seven stolen bases — two each by Taviano, Hoersten and Yingst and one by Hunter Klett.
Perry is 5-2 in the Northwest Central Conference. Hardin Northern dropped to 6-14 for the season and 2-3 in the NWCC.
Reach Jim Naveau at 567-242-0414.