Matt Kruzel and Alec Schmenk have recently shared the duties of carrying the load for Perrysburg.
Both delivered in a major way Wednesday evening to lead the Yellow Jackets to an impressive 7-0 shutout over Northview in a key Northern Lakes League baseball matchup.
Kruzel, the Yellow Jackets left-handed ace, took care of business and shut down the Wildcats offense with a two-hit, seven strikeout, and two walk performance.
And Schmenk, Perrysburg's lead-off hitter, went 2 for 3 at the plate, including a double and a three-run home run.
"We felt like our next three games would be big games and this was our first big one because they're a really good ballclub," said Perrysburg coach Dave Hall, referring to Wednesday's contest with Northview and two upcoming games with Maumee.
The Yellow Jackets improved to 13-2 overall, 6-0 in the NLL.
Northview (12-5, 5-2 NLL) was in position to pull into a tie with Perrysburg for first place with a league road win at Leyland Field.
The shutout win was the Yellow Jackets ninth of the season, adding to the school's record.
However, two rough innings on the mound for Northview right-hander Zach Ryder left the Wildcats trailing the Yellow Jackets in the standings at the end of the day.
"You've got to show up for all of the games against good teams," Northview coach Kevin Danzeisen said. "They got it done and we didn't get it done."
The Yellow Jackets took charge of the game in the second inning when they pushed four runs across on three hits and a walk.
Kevin Schenk drove in the game-deciding run when he hit into a groundout with the bases loaded to give Perrysburg a 1-0 lead.
Schmenk made it 4-0 when he followed with his three-run shot over the right field fence. It was his second homer in Perrysburg's last four games.
"It was low and inside and that's what I've always liked, and I just pulled it," Schmenk said.
The four-run inning gave Kruzel plenty of insurance runs to work with while he kept the Wildcats' bats in check. He improved to 4-0, all shutouts.
"He's got three pitches he throws for strikes, a fastball, slider, and curveball," Hall said, of Kruzel.
Kruzel owned a no-hitter through five innings. Northview's Donnie Nagle broke up the no-hitter when he led off the sixth inning with a single to right field that fell about 10 feet in front of Perrysburg right fielder Ryan Young. Austin Lee led of the seventh inning with a base hit, but like Young, it did not result in a score for Northview.
"I felt pretty good," Kruzel said. "It took me a while to get my breaking pitch going, but once I did, I felt pretty good."
The Yellow Jackets scored three runs in the fourth on two hits, a walk, and an error. Zach Kolvey tagged a two-run triple during the inning.
Contact Donald Emmons at: email@example.com or 419-724-6302.
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