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Perkins holds off upstart St. Mary CC

Mark Hazelwood • Apr 14, 2011 at 10:53 AM

It was mixed reviews from both dugouts after the Perkins baseball team held off St. Mary Central Catholic by a 4-2 score in a Sandusky Bay Conference game played Wednesday at Perkins High School.

The Panthers (6-3, 1-1) brought the tying run to the plate and had a runner at second base with two outs in the top of the seventh inning, but Pirate starter Evan Laser induced a groundball out to end the game.

"It's a conference win, and that's the most important thing," Perkins coach Ray Neill said after his team improved to 4-2 overall and 2-0 in the SBC. "Evan battled out there for us and really pounded the strike zone. He finished at 95 pitches and 100 was going to be his limit.

"That was his last batter there one way or the other. I'd have liked to of taken him out at 75 or 80 pitches, but for the team he had to go close to 100 today. We were able to at least get that accomplished."

SMCC coach Ben Stover saw his team hang in there despite falling behind 3-1 after the second inning. And while the Panthers aren't happy with just competing, the team's three losses are by a combined four runs, a far cry from a 1-21 campaign a year ago.

"It's still a loss, and nobody likes to lose," Stover said. "We're all competitors out here. But at the same time, you do have to take something away from it. Even though we're young, we can still compete.

"If this is the best team (Perkins), we showed we can compete with them. In the second and third inning, they really hit the ball hard. It's just little things. We're getting better, but we're not to that level yet. Perkins is a good team -- they are every year -- and you can't take nothing away from them."

SMCC took a brief 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning as Brandon Green walked and came around to score on an RBI single from Drew Beverick. Two fielding errors by the Pirates allowed Green to move up on the base paths.

In the bottom of the second, the Pirates responded with two runs to take a 2-1 lead. Josh Gerold walked and scored on an RBI double by Joey Price, who then scored on a single by Quentin Harrington.

The Pirates added a run in the third and fourth innings that pushed the lead up to 4-1.

Cameron Waldock singled in the third and scored on an RBI triple by Mike Ryerson, while Tyson Moore scored on an RBI single by Laser in the fourth.

In the top of the seventh, SMCC's Cody Cantley hit a two-out, RBI double to score Randy Mocilnikar, who led off the inning with a walk. But Laser limited any more damage, getting Caleb Severance to ground out to second to end the game.

Neill was pleased with the win, but was unhappy with several areas of his team's play.

"To SMCC's credit, they kept it a tight game and had the tying run in the batter's box in the seventh inning," Neill said. "But we allowed that by having four different instances with a runner at third base and less than two outs, and we didn't get the run in. That is unacceptable. Just unacceptable.

"We had guys have good at-bats when they weren't in those situations, so we need some guys to duplicate some good at-bats by putting the ball in play. I wasn't real happy with that stuff. But, it's a 2-0 start in the conference with Edison coming in Friday."

Laser allowed just the two RBI hits by Beverick and Cantley in his seven innings. He struck out six and walked two, allowing one earned run. SMCC starter Cameron Weiss allowed three runs on five hits in the first three innings to take the loss.

"We're not to where we need to be, but we're definitely getting closer," Stover said.

SMCC will host South Central today at Dorn Park while the Pirates play host to Mansfield Madison. Both teams are in SBC action Friday with SMCC hosting Huron and Perkins hosting Edison.

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