Ballard found Perry to be an accommodating host Thursday, as eight Bluejay errors in the first game and five more in the second helped the Bombers posts wins of 9-7 and of 4-3 at Progressive Field.
The Bombers won the opener despite having a 4-0 lead turn into a 6-4 deficit thanks in large part to a Will Whiton grand slam. Unfortunately for the Jays, the recent rash of errors continued through the end of the game, allowing the Bombers to outscore the hosts 5-1 over the final two frames for the 9-7 win.
Ballard scored an unearned run in the top of the second and added three runs in the third on two doubles, a single and two Perry miscues.
Whiton was hit by a pitch to open the Perry third. He stole both second and third bases and later scored on a double steal, with a Kyle Nevitt double plating the second Bluejay run.
Kade VanKirk singled after a walk to Blake Lansing in the fourth, with Janier Puente reaching on a fielder’s choice. An Alex Long infield single loaded the bases, with Whiton launching a towering grand slam to left field for a 6-4 Bluejay lead.
Three singles and an error led to three runs for Ballard in the top of the sixth, with an error, a walk and two hits allowing the hosts to grab a 9-6 lead entering the bottom of the seventh.
Perry tried to rally, with Nic Wilhelmi singling, moving up on a balk and a ground out and scoring on a wild pitch to cut the lead to 9-7, but the hosts could come no closer in suffering the loss.
Zach Roberts deserved a better fate after starting for Perry. He struck out three and allowed five hits in 5-1/3 frames but was tagged for seven runs, of which only two were earned.
Whiton tossed 1-2/3 in relief, yielding two unearned runs on three hits and two walks with one strikeout.
Kai Reinertson went the distance for Ballard, allowing seven runs on seven hits and four walks. He struck out nine in collecting the win.
Whiton stole four bases in addition to smacking the four-run four-bagger, with Nevitt hitting two doubles to highlight the Perry offense, while Nathan Carlin and Marcus Chieves had doubles for Ballard.
Perry was the visiting team on the scoreboard in the nightcap and grabbed a 1-0 lead in the second when Adan Medina singled, stole second, moved up on a VanKirk sacrifice and then raced home on a wild pitch.
Ballard tied the game in the third, but Medina was back at it for Perry in the fourth, as he singled, stole second, moved up on a wild pitch and scored on a VanKirk RBI-ground out for a 2-1 Bluejay lead.
The Bombers used a pair of Perry errors to score twice in their half of the fourth to seize a 3-2 edge.
Wilhelmi singled in the sixth, stole second, moved up on yet another Ballard wild pitch and touched home to tie the game when Medina hit a RBI-ground ball.
Perry threatened in the top of the seventh with Nic Fellom and Whiton were both hit by pitches with one out. Consecutive fly balls to center field ended the rally.
Kobe Schultze was plunked by a pitch from Perry starter Alex Long to open the bottom of the seventh, with Carlin safe on an error while attempting to sacrifice, with Schultze racing to third on the play.
Puente replaced Long but threw just one pitch, as Gannon Manfull’s ground ball to third was able to score Schultze with the winning run.
Medina had two singles for Perry, with Wilhelmi’s single and a Whiton double the only hits for the Jays.
Long was handed the loss. He went six innings, allowing four runs (two earned) on five hits, three walks and a hit batsman while striking out five.
Jaden Moody started for Ballard and lasted two innings. He allowed one run on one hit and two walks while striking out two.
Austin Edwards earned the win in five frames of long relief. He surrendered two runs on three hits and a walk while sitting down two batters on strikes.
Perry returns to action Monday when they host Grinnell. They will host Carroll in a make-up game Tuesday in what will be the final home appearances for seniors Roberts, Whiton and Wilhelmi.
At Progressive Field, July 2
BALLARD 9, PERRY 7
Team R H E
BAL 013 003 2 — 9 8 0
PRY 002 400 1 — 7 7 8
BAL: Reinertson and Johnson. PRY: Roberts (5.1), Whiton (1.2) and Kenyon, Roberts. WP: Reinertson. LP: Roberts. 2B — BAL: Carlin, Chieves; PRY: Nevitt 2. HR — PRY: Whiton (GS).
BALLARD 4. PERRY 3
Team R H E
PRY 010 101 0 — 3 4 5
BAL 001 200 1 — 4 5 0
PRY: Long (6), Puente and Roberts. BAL: Moody (2), Edwards (5) and Johnson. WP: Edwards. LP: Long. 2B — PRY: Whiton.