|Perrysburg baseball wins district championship|
|Written by Kevin Gordon Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor|
|Saturday, 22 May 2010 22:29|
Perrysburg’s baseball team was picked fifth in the Northern Lakes League preseason poll.
But just two months later, the Yellow Jackets are headed back to the regional semifinals. PHOTO GALLERY
They recorded a 5-0 win Saturday over Anthony Wayne in the championship game of the Division I district tournament at Carter Park.
And Perrysburg won with its usual combination of quality pitching, solid defense and timely hitting.
David Gordon pitched a four-hitter and opened the scoring with a three-run home run to lead the Yellow Jackets, who are 24-4 overall and ranked third in the state.
Perrysburg faces Northern Lakes League rival and No. 10 Southview (23-3) in the regional semifinals Thursday in a 5 p.m. start at Steller Field. AW, also an NLL member, is 15-9.
The win was Perrysburg’s third against AW this season as it posted 2-0, 2-1 wins behind ace Alec Schmenk. Schmenk pitched a one-hitter Thursday in a 2-0 district semifinal win over Ashland.
“These kids have just done a fantastic job,” Perrysburg coach Dave Hall said.
The Yellow Jackets, who lost in the regional semifinals in 2008, start just two seniors.
Perrysburg and AW were meeting in their third straight district final, with AW winning last season.
“I don’t think anybody thought we’d be where we are today. I know I didn’t,” Hall said. “The kids have just rallied around the pitching, the defense and the timely hitting.”
Perrysburg also is vying for the NLL title where it is 10-2. Southview is first at 11-2.
“The kids believe in each other. They’ve worked extremely hard in the winter with open gyms, the preseason stuff, in March,” Hall said. “They’ve bought into what I told them — we had to play defense and pitch well. I’m very, very happy with this group.”
Although the Yellow Jackets are stocked with good players, they have no stars. Saturday just happened to be Gordon’s turn to earn the team’s rotating hero award.
He pounded the strike zone consistently with an excellent mix of fastballs, curveballs and changeups. He struck out four and walked one, throwing 61 of his 91 pitches for strikes.
“That’s what I try to do every time out. I’m not a big strikeout pitcher,” said Gordon, whose fourth shutout of the season set a school record.
He’s 6-0 with a 0.75 earned-run average. In 46 2/3 innings, he’s allowed just nine runs (five earned) on 32 hits with 43 strikeouts and eight walks.
“I throw strikes and let the defense do the work,” Gordon said. “The defense was tremendous, that’s the way we’ve been playing all year.”
“He does that most of the time,” Hall said. “He can get all three of his pitches across for strikes and nothing rattles him. He’s just very intelligent.”
The Generals had just four singles. They advanced a runner to second with one out in the first and fifth innings, but couldn’t score.
“(Gordon) was on today,” Perrysburg catcher Zach Kolvey said.
Perrysburg didn’t have an error, even though AW hit a number of balls hard.
The Yellow Jackets responded an ample supply of excellent defensive plays, including freshman Steve Slocum, who had three catches in right. He also singled and doubled.
“(Gordon) threw it over the plate and they made the plays,” AW coach Mark Nell said. “They have good athletes. They’re a good team. They beat us three times. They’re a better team than us. They have a good team.”
After leaving three runners in scoring position during the first two innings, the Yellow Jackets scored in the third on Gordon’s homer to deep center that just cleared the fence. He hit a high fastball on a 2-1 pitch with runners on first and third.
Matt Kruzel stroked the second of his three singles with a one-out single to center and Kolvey later reached on a fielder’s choice for the second out to bring Gordon to the plate.
“I put a good swing on it and it popped right off the bat,” Gordon said of his second homer. He’s hitting .294. “I was trying to make contact and get a base hit to get the run in.”
Perrysburg increased its lead to 5-0 in the fifth. Kruzel singled to third with one out, stole second and came home on Matt Slocum’s doubled to right. Kolvey singled to center to bring home Slocum.
“I wanted to score first because they’re such a well-coached team and play in big games all of the time,” Hall said. “You don’t want to give them the momentum and I don’t think we did. We’ve done that (leaving runners in scoring position) a lot, so we don’t panic. The kids know if they plug away they can score.”
PERRYSBURG 5, ANTHONY WAYNE 0
AW 000 000 0—0 4 0
PERRYSBURG 003 020 X—5 8 0
HITS — (AW) Conklin 2, Tansel, Olsavsky; (P) Kruzel 3, S. Slocum 2, M. Slocum, Kolvey, Gordon. 2B — (P) S. Slocum. HR — (P) Gordon. RUNS — (P) Kruzel 2, Kolvey, M. Slocum, Gordon. RBI — (P) Gordon 3, M. Slocum, Kolvey. SB — (P) Kruzel. SAC — (P) Garbig 2. HBP — (AW) Fischer (by Gordon). LOB — AW 6, Perrysburg 5. DP — AW.
IP H R ER BB SO
Lindke (LP) 3 1-3 4 3 3 4 0
Olsavsky 2 2-3 4 2 2 0 1
Gordon (WP) 7 4 0 0 1 4
|Last Updated on Monday, 24 May 2010 09:57|
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