Bluejays surge to lead, then stumble in 10-7 loss to Bombers

Perry senior Kade VanKirk slides into second base ahead of the tag against Carlisle Monday.

Trailing 6-1, the Perry baseball team plated six runs in a wild fifth inning to snatch a 7-6 advantage over Ballard at Progressive Field Thursday. Unfortunately, the Bluejay pitching faltered, allowing the guests to score three times in the sixth and once more in the seventh for a 10-7 win in Raccoon River Conference action.

Perry (9-17, 5-8) faced a 3-0 deficit in the third when Kaleb Olejniczak singled, stole second and eventually scored on a passed ball.

Ballard (16-9, 7-5) scored twice in the fourth and once in the fifth to open a 6-1 lead, with a most uncommon bottom of the frame allowing the hosts to snatch a short-lived lead.

A Kade VanKirk single surrounded walks to Olejniczak and Kyle Nevitt that loaded the bases. Janier Puente walked to drive in a run, with Adan Medina hit by a pitch to force in a second run. Alex Long singled home a run, with Alexis Garrido hit with a pitch to send another Bluejay across the dish before Olejniczak’s two-run single moved the hosts into a 7-6 lead.

Garrido was replaced on the mound for the sixth inning by Nevitt, who allowed two hits and walked three, enabling the Bombers to score three times and surge to a 9-7 edge. Long pitched the seventh, but an error and, later, a wild pitch, allowed the 10th Bomber run to score.

Brandon Kenyon was hit by a pitch to start the Bluejay seventh, but Colin Anderson snared Gavin Boyer’s line drive back to the mound and then fired to first to double-off the unfortunate Kenyon. Olejniczak singled to keep hopes alive, but a strikeout ended the game.

Lane Schaeffer picked up the win in relief after allowing two hits in two frames, with Anderson earning a save by tossing the seventh.

Perry visits Grinnell Tuesday before hosting Kuemper Catholic Thursday, with visits from Pella July 11 and from Winterset July 13 capping the regular season.

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