Perrysburg's Spencer George connects with the ball in the top of the fourth inning during Friday's matchup against Southview.
THE BLADE/KATIE RAUSCH
After Perrysburg junior Mark Delas helped his own cause, the Yellow Jackets’ pitcher settled in on the mound to lead his team to a tight road win on Friday.
Perrysburg and Southview were tied at 4 in the fourth inning when the Yellow Jackets took the lead for good with two runs on three hits. Delas singled to score pinch runner Seth Durham and Perrysburg went on to win 6-5.
After he gave his team and himself the lead, Delas sent the side down in order in the fourth and fifth innings. He struck out four of the six batters. Delas allowed only one hit after the third inning.
“It got the momentum going and it felt better to pitch after [the RBI],” Delas said. “I started settling in and that helped me.”
Perrysburg (11-1) came into the game ranked No. 4 in the state in the Division I coaches poll. The Yellow Jackets remained undefeated at 4-0 in the Northern Lakes League.
“Southview is a good ball club and they will be there at the end just like us,” Perrysburg coach Dave Hall said. “Any time you go on the road and get a win, it’s a good thing.”
Southview (7-4, 2-2) received a strong start from pitcher Tyler Staumbaugh, who also settled in after giving up four runs early.
“Both pitchers got stronger as it went along,” Southview coach Ed Mouch said.
Perrysburg senior centerfielder Steve Slocum made two great diving catches in the third and seventh innings.
“Sometimes you have to just layout and I managed to make the plays,” Slocum said. “I owe it to our pitchers to keep runners off bases because they work hard. Any kind of diving plays are satisfying.”
After Delas gave his team the lead, Slocum made it 6-4 when he scored on A.J. Stockwell's fielder’s choice. Delas ramped up his fastball and was able to get his curve ball over for strikes.
“I think he plays baseball like a linebacker,” Hall said. “He gets really hyped up. He has to get control of those emotions. I think the base hit calmed him. He’s a hitter first. He got into a really good rhythm after that.”
Southview jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning as Perrysburg committed four errors.
The Cougar’s Colin Boerst hit a seeing-eye single up the middle to score Leon Eggleston and Jordan Grunberg. The Cougars could have tacked on two more runs but Slocum made a diving catch to end the inning. Mouch briefly argued the call after it appeared Slocum had trapped the ball as he charged in and dove forward.
“The umpire made a call,” Mouch said. “We aren’t perfect as players or coaches. It made a little impact but not to where it decided the game.”
Perrysburg responded with four runs in the second inning. Gus Dimmerling drove in one run when his fly dropped in behind the first baseman.
With the bases loaded, Austin Lee sent a high fly to deep left. Grunberg looked to have a bead on it but it fell in, allowing three runs to score as Perrysburg took a 4-2 lead.
Southview got one run back in the second when Sam Christman scored on Eggleston’s fielders’ choice to make it 4-3.
The Cougars tied it up at 4 in the third.
Southview had the bases loaded with no out when Griffin McDonald grounded into a double play to score Ian Segall. Delas (4-0) escaped further damage when Slocum, who will play football in college as a preferred walk on at Miami, then came up with a diving grab to end the inning. The catch stranded two runners.
Stambaugh came out of the game in the seventh after throwing 105 pitches. The Cougars rallied for a run in their last at-bat as Segall scored on Jake Holloway’s single. Stockwell relieved Delas (107 pitches) and had to make just one pitch to end the game on a pop out.
“I had a great defense,” Delas said. “Steve made a lot of nice diving catches and my defense fielded great. I credit them.”
The game was originally scheduled to be played at Perrysburg, but the Yellow Jackets’ field was deemed unplayable because of recent rains.
Perrysburg, which won the NLL title in 2011, was picked to finish second behind Maumee. Southview was picked to finish sixth.
“We are a young group,” Mouch said. “But we’re not happy with a moral victory. We're here to win games. In this league anyone can beat anyone. It will be like this all year long.”
Contact Mark Monroe at: email@example.com, 419-724-6354, or on Twitter @MonroeBlade.