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    Perry walks off with win over Riverside

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    EASTLAKE—Sam Tharp’s bases-loaded single allowed Perry to walk off with a 4-3 win over visiting Perry at Classic Park on Saturday.

    With the game tied 3-3 heading into the bottom of the seventh, the first three Pirates to bat reached base safely, setting up Tharp’s biggest hit of his injury-shortened season.

    “Sam’s a great instinctual hitter, he makes a lot of coaches look good,” said Perry head coach Matt Platt. “He knows how to play baseball, and he puts good swings on (the baseball). Even after missing 15 games he stayed locked in, he never really left the game. We’ve been working to get his swing back, and his first few at-bats weren’t what he wanted but, it helped get him locked in for the final at-bat.”

    Perry struck first in the bottom of the first when Cade Henderson singled home Luke Sivon, and later, Owen McKoon scored on a wild pitch to put Perry up 2-0.

    Brody Petrucelli was hit by a pitch, stole second, and then scored on Chase Sivon’s bunt single. A throwing error allowed another run to score, making it 3-0.

    “It’s high school baseball, if you put the ball in play more times than you strikeout, eventually it’s probably going to work out for you,” Platt said. “Balls in play are so important, that’s what we emphasize, being tough with two strikes and putting pressure on the defense.”

    Riverside made it a game in the top of the seventh.

    Leyland Chapman and Mo Dolce worked back-to-back two-out walks, and then Evan Garbincus sent a fly-ball to right center that cleared the fence for a two-out, three-run home run, tying the game with one swing, 3-3.

    Perry answered with its seventh-inning rally to seal its win.

    Sivon and McKoon hit back-to-back singles and Henderson was intentionally walked, loading the bases with no outs.

    Tharp followed with an RBI single to right-center.

    Perry seemingly had the game in hand after Petrucelli and Kyle Rhineberger turned a 4-6-3 double play to erase two baserunners in the top of the seventh, before the three-run shot tied it, setting the Pirates up to battle back and walk it off.

    “Even if we’re down five runs going into the last inning, we’re going to fight; we don’t give away at-bats and we’re going to battle,” Platt said. “(The fight) showed in the bottom of the seventh, it’s very important. Hopefully, that gives us momentum going into Monday.”

    The Pirates will play Berkshire in a district semifinal at Cene Park in Struthers on Monday. Perry defeated Berkshire back on April 26, 7-2.

    “Every (game) rep is so meaningful rather than a practice where it could be a little distracting at times,” Platt said. “Competing in the moment makes those reps so much more locked in, mental and meaningful. Tonight, we saw a couple of good arms from Riverside. We just have to try and stay locked in at the plate and have good at-bats.”

    McKoon led Perry’s offense with his 2-for-3 performance at the dish and he also scored a run.

    Tharp and Henderson each picked up one hit and one RBI for the Pirates. Luke Sivon scored two runs with one hit, while Petrucelli and Chase Sivon also collected hits.

    A trifecta of Perry pitchers tossed a combined 6 ⅔ scoreless innings, led by Jason Penteck, who earned the victory after allowing three hits with one walk and one strikeout in 3 ⅓ innings.

    Garbincus led the Beaver offense by going 2-for-4 with the three-run homer.

    Chapman, and Dolce both went 1-for-3 with a run scored, while Kevin Sanchez and Ozzie Abel both reached with base hits as well.

    Zach Koenig pitched 4 ⅓ innings, taking the loss on the mound, giving up three hits, one earned run with a walk, and three strikeouts.

     

     

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