Sometimes you’re a laser-guided missile. Sometimes you can’t find the plate with a GPS.
Jayden Chance knows that all-too-well. Monday was the latter for him. He came into Perry’s game against Upson-Lee in the top of the 10th and the score tied at 3. He struck out the first batter – that was obviously a good start – but then walked the next, gave up a single to the one following and issued two more free passes afterward. Jackson Nipper came in in relief and got the next two, but the damage had been done.
The host Panthers nearly overcame it in the bottom half of the inning. They scored one on Lane Rucker’s one-out double and Chance’s redemptive RBI-single – he actually drove in two Perry runs. But Upson-Lee’s Austin Hendricks struck out the next two to leave the Panthers on the wrong side of a 5-4 result.
Two of the Trojans’ runs came in the first. A walk – the only other one Perry issued – and an error – each team had two – played into that, but there was also a single and triple. Perry tied it with two in the third. Andrew Newhouse started the inning with a double. Nipper singled to put men on the corners. Lane Rucker sacrificed Newhouse home and Chance drove in his first with a single.
Perry went ahead in the fourth. Wade Gordon reached on an error to start the inning. Tyler Knowles sacrificed him to second. A fielder’s choice groundout got him to third where Newhouse singled him home. Newhouse finished 2-5. Rucker was 2-5 and Chance 2-5.
Also of note was Wade Gordon’s nine innings pitched. He gave up five hits – Upson had six and Perry seven. He didn’t strike anyone out, but he also only walked one. The Panthers also left eight on – the Trojans stranded seven – several of which could have been the deciding run had they been able to get a clutch hit.
The loss put the two at 4-3 in 2-AAAA. Perry is 7-12 overall, Upson-Lee 9-9. The two are slated to meet twice more this week, Wednesday at Upson-Lee (first pitch: 5:30 p.m.) and Friday at Perry (5:55 p.m. first pitch).
Elsewhere, Warner Robins notched only its fourth win – measured against 13 losses – 15-0 versus Southwest. The game took only five innings, thanks mainly to an 11-run outburst by the Demons in the first. They added two more in the second and one in the third and fourth.
Reece Page had three of Warner Robins’ seven hits. He, in four at bats, drove in two and scored twice. Xavier McIntyre was also 2-3 with three RBIs and two scored.
Two Demon pitchers, Eddie Wilchinski and Nik Buckner, worked together to limit the Patriots to just two hits. Wilchinski went three innings. He gave up the hits while striking out four. Buckner was perfect minus a walk.