Perry rally stopped short in loss at Pella

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Kade VanKirk makes a catch in left field during a recent game at Progressive Field.

PELLA — A back-and-forth contest ended in favor of host Pella after a Perry rally in the top of the seventh inning came up a run short of forcing extra innings in their non-conference meeting Monday.

Pella (29-4) grabbed a 1-0 lead after two frames when Landon Vander Leest reached on a fielder’s choice, moved to second on an error, advanced to third in a wild pitch and later scored on a balk.

Kade VanKirk walked and Caleb Olejniczak was hit by a pitch to begin a rally for Perry (14-14) in the top of the third. An error on Alex Long’s sacrifice loaded the bases, with a Will Whiton single plating VanKirk, with a bunt single from Zach Roberts scoring Olejniczak.

Kyle Nevitt flew out to right, with Long nailed at the plate after tagging up and trying to score. A Nic Wilhelmi base hit scored Whiton for a 3-1 Perry lead, but courtesy runner Brandon Kenyon (on for Roberts) was thrown out trying to move from first to third on the play to end the threat.

The Dutch used two singles, three wild pitches, a passed ball and a sacrifice fly to cobble together a pair of runs in their half of the third to tie the game at 3-all.

Whiton singled and scored on a Nevitt single in the fifth, but Pella went ahead, 6-4, when Grant Judkins launched a three-run home run in the bottom of the frame.

A one-out solo home run from Whiton brought the Bluejays to within 6-5 in the seventh, with a two-out single from Nevitt keeping the threat alive, but a strikeout turned back the surge and gave the hosts the victory.

Whiton was 3-for-3 with two RBIs, with Nevitt 2-for-4 with a RBI while Roberts and Wilhelmi added RBI-singles and VanKirk and Blake Lansing base hits.

Janier Puente started and threw two frames for the Jays. He walked two, struck out three and was charged with an unearned run. Nevitt went two innings as well, yielding two runs on three hits and a walk with one strikeout.

The loss went to Long, who surrendered three runs on two hits and three walks while striking out one in one inning on the hill. Lansing tossed a 1-2-3 sixth in relief.

Jordan Meyer pitched five innings to take the win after he allowed four runs (two earned) on six hits and a walk while fanning two. Tyler Hillman yielded a hit and struck out two in one inning of work, with Marcus Wittmer touched for a run on two hits while striking out one in his inning on the bump.

Perry will conclude Raccoon River Conference and regular season play tonight (Wednesday) with a trip to Winterset. The postseason will begin Friday with a 5 p.m. meeting, in Boone, against Webster City. The winner faces the victor of Friday’s 7 p.m. game between Boone and Nevada on Monday — in Boone — at 7 p.m.

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PELLA 6, PERRY 5

at Pella, July 13

Team                     R  H  E
PRY   003 010 1 — 5  9  2

PEL   012 030 x — 6  5  2

PRY: Puente (2), Nevitt (2), Long (1), Lansing (1) and Roberts. PEL: Meyer (5), Hillman (1), Wittmer (1) and n/a. WP: Meyer. LP: Long. HR — PRY: Whiton (3); PEL: Judkins. LOB — PRY: 4; PEL: 4.

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