Never leave your fate in somebody else’s hands.
A thought Perry’s coaches no doubt hammered home prior to their critical meeting against Spalding Friday at home. Apparently it hit home, as Perry beat the Jaguars 5-0. Had they lost, they would have had to have fallen back on the hope that Mary Persons, a team it held the tiebreaker over, would fall to Upson-Lee, thus enabling Perry to still make it into the state playoffs.
As it stood, the Panthers were a winner either way. The Bulldogs did indeed fall to the Trojans 4-1. Also, Perry got a bonus. Because it beat the Jaguars, and with both finishing the division at 8-7, but with the Panthers now holding the tiebreaker, it swapped places with Spalding – moved from the No. 4 to the No. 3 seed.
Game-wise, a good deal of credit for the win went to John Micah Law. He worked all seven innings. He struck out 12 and walked one. He also only gave up three hits, which was a good thing. Hits were at a premium. Perry only had four. They were fortunate that three of them came in the second inning. Spalding pitchers also walked seven batters. Perry was fortunate two of those came during the same inning, as did a hit batsman and one of the Jaguars’ two errors. All told it accounted for all five of the Panthers’ runs.
With one out Clayton Davis (1-3) and Jackson Nipper (1-3) singled. Beau Bryant (0-2) walked to load the bases before Cameron Mashburn (1-2) singled home Davis. Lane Rucker (0-2) was hit by a pitch to bring in Nipper. A fielder’s choice by Andrew Newhouse (0-4) resulted in Bryant being forced out at home, but Law (1-1 with three free passes) walked and during that at bat, Mashburn scored on a passed ball. Seth Creamer (0-3) then hit a ground ball that was misplayed to bring home Newhouse and round out the scoring.
Two of the Panthers’ three errors occurred in the inning following, but Law was able to work out of it. He gave up two singles after that – the fourth – but struck out the next two hitters to end that threat, and in the fifth worked around the third and final Perry error.
He sent Spalding down in order in the sixth and gave up a one-out walk in the seventh, but nothing more.
Elsewhere, try as it may, Northside just couldn’t get past Coffee. In a doubleheader, and needing to win both games, the Eagles instead fell in the first one, 6-5. That came via a walk-off single in the ninth. They fell in the nightcap 13-12 to finish their year 4-21.