That was the improbable outcome for the Perry baseball team Wednesday. Despite the seemingly insurmountable numbers, the Bluejays (4-1, 1-0) won their Raccoon River Conference opener, 8-7. against Carroll (1-4, 0-2) at Merchant’s Park.
An Alex Long single and a walk to Kade VanKirk started the top of the seventh with Perry down, 7-4. Janier Puente doubled off the fence in left to score Long and chase reliever T.J. Feldman for Kyle Christensen, who was greeted by a Will Whiton double to left that tied the game.
Whiton would have easily reached third base on the hit but pulled up at second with a cramp and was run for by Brandon Kenyon. Nic Wilhelmi grounded out behind the runner to move Kenyon to third, from where he scored the eventual game-winning run on a sacrifice fly to center by Zach Roberts.
Whiton re-entered the game to pitch the bottom of the seventh, striking out two and forcing a fly out to seal the win.
Perry was quickly out front in the game, as Whiton singled, stole second and later scored on a Roberts RBI-ground out.
Bluejay starter Blake Lansing recorded one out before being lifted for Long. Lansing faced four batters, issuing a walk and allowing two hits and three runs to score. Long walked his first two batters and allowed a RBI-single to Cooper LaRue before striking out Tanner White and Peter Stevens to end the inning.
Carroll made it 5-1 in the second when the combination of three walks and a balk over five batters brought in a run, but Long avoided damage in the third by inducing a fly out with the bases loaded to keep the score unchanged entering the fourth.
Roberts drew a one-out walk, with courtesy runner Nic Fellom eventually scoring on a Kyle Nevitt single, with Adan Medina scoring when the ball was mishandled in the outfield, drawing Perry to within 5-3.
Puente doubled to left and scored after a Whiton single on a Wilhelmi sac fly to right to bring the Jays to within 5-4, but Carroll responded with two runs in the sixth.
Medina had allowed a hit and walk in two frames in relief of Long, but was touched for two tallies on two hits and two errors — the fourth and fifth miscues of the game for Perry — in the sixth stanza, setting the stage for a wild seventh for the guests.
The win went to Medina, who tossed three innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits and a walk. Whiton fanned two in one frame for the save, with Long having walked six and struck out two while surrendering two runs on two hits in 2.2 frames. Lansing was assessed three runs on two hits and a walk in one-third of an inning.
Mason Millard started and lasted five innings for the Tigers, during which he struck out five, walked two and yielded four runs on five hits. Feldman threw one frame, allowing three runs on two hits and a walk, with Christensen taking the loss in one inning after giving up a run on one hit.
Perry travels to Boone Thursday before hosting ADM Friday and then playing in the Nodaway Valley Tournament in Greenfield Saturday.
PERRY 8, CARROLL 7
at Merchant’s Park, Carroll, June 3
Team R H E
PRY 100 210 4 — 8 8 5
CAR 410 002 0 — 7 7 2
PRY: Lansing (.1), Long (2.2), Medina (3), Whiton (1) and Roberts. CAR: Millard (5), Feldman (1), Christensen (1) and Christensen, M. White. WP: Medina. LP: Christensen. S: Whiton. 2B — PRY: Puente 2, Whiton. LOB — PRY: 2; CAR: 9.
Video courtesy of PEGASUS TV12 and volunteer Doug Wood. Check www.pegasustv12.com for air times of full contest.