Perrysburg junior pitcher Parker Faris struck out 11, walked one and gave up two hits in pitching a complete game shutout as the visiting Yellow Jackets defeated Bowling Green Monday, 4-0.
Faris was getting his breaking pitches over for strikes, which the Bobcats had no answer for. Of 104 pitches, 64 were strikes, and he faced just 24 batters over seven innings, plus his defense did not make an error.
“It’s easy to throw strikes when I have such good defense,” Faris said. “It was just working today. Everything seemed to be working — my off-speed a lot and just throwing strikes, working ahead is the big thing.”
Perrysburg coach Dave Hall added, “Parker has been good for us so far. He mixed speeds, he is not overpowering but he puts the ball where he wants it, and he did a nice job.
“It’s one of our few complete games this year. It was nice to see him go out there and put the ball where he wanted to.”
BG coach Fred Riggs said after that performance he would like to drill his team on how to hit curveballs when they are coming over the plate, but he doesn’t see a window in between games right now to do that.
“He gave us something to work on in practice,” Riggs said. “Unfortunately, we have multiple games in a row. He pitched well.
“That was a stellar performance on his part, and he just kept us at bay all night. We couldn’t get any hits off him.”
As far as Perrysburg’s defense, Hall says an errorless game is not that surprising.
“I thought our defense was going to be pretty good all year,” Hall said. “We’ve got (junior) Trent (Bezek) pretty well installed at short, but we’re still trying to figure out third base. They didn’t hit any there until the end when I made a defensive switch.”
BG 6-foot-3, 170-pound senior pitcher Nate Kress was nearly as stellar, striking out eight, walking two, and allowing just four hits through six innings. However, of three runs scored on his watch, none were charged against him.
“He did great,” Riggs said. “He’s working back up to get his pitch count higher, and he pitched well. I’m proud of him.”
Perrysburg scored two unearned runs in the top of the first, thanks to a throwing error and a passed ball.
Kress struck out sophomore Landon Winters, the first hitter of the game, on four pitches, but on the third strike Winters still reached base on a passed ball. He stole second and scored on an RBI single to right field by junior Jack Losee.
Losee advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on a throwing error when senior Matt Gast hit into a fielder’s choice.
Gast advanced to second on a second passed ball that inning but was stranded when Kress got the fifth and sixth hitters out on a strikeout and grounder to short.
“We’ve got a sophomore catcher just trying to figure out how to catch him (Kress),” Riggs said. “We’ll get better and I’m excited about this team. This team is better than what we showed tonight.”
The score remained 2-0 until the top of the sixth when senior Matt Hubbard reached on an infield single and went to second when junior Quinn Weber was hit by a pitch.
At that point, junior Nick Oros entered the game to run for Hubbard. Oros stole third and scored on another throwing error. It was just what the doctor ordered, going up against a pitcher of Kress’ caliber.
“We did just enough to manufacture the first three runs to get us there, so it was good to get the two-run lead against him,” Hall said.
Junior Dugan Smith scored Perrysburg’s fourth run in the seventh, leading off by getting hit by a pitch, and scoring when Gast belted a triple to the right-center field gap.
Losee was 2-for-4 at the plate and Weber and junior designated hitter Brady Zilles also had base hits for the Jackets. Winters, Oros, and senior Nick Hartzell had stolen bases for Perrysburg.
For BG, junior Logan Neifer had a one-out double into the right-center field gap that reached the warning track and senior Brock Hastings had a first inning base hit on a grounder up the middle. Hastings and sophomore Carter Earl had one stolen base each.
BG falls to 5-8 overall and 1-3 in the Northern Lakes League, while Perrysburg contilnues to remain relevant in the early league standings at 8-5 and 3-2.
“We’re just hoping to plug away and creep back into the thing (NLL race),” Hall said.
Faris added, “I think we’re definitely hot. We’re headed in the right direction. I mean, it’s just so easy to pitch when you have good defense, and the boys are just hot right now.”