F&M Classic: Perry shuts down East
KANNAPOLIS — Division I recruits tend to show why they’re Division I recruits, and Robinson right-hander Philip Perry demonstrated why he’s headed to East Carolina.
Perry, not imposing physically but the owner of electric stuff, struck out 14 and tossed a three-hitter as the Bulldogs beat East Rowan 2-0 in a Wednesday afternoon game played at CMC-NorthEast Stadium.
Robinson (6-6) has generally walloped people when Perry, who struck out 170 as a junior, pitches and generally has been walloped when he doesn’t. That’s not unusual. Most teams play a lot better when their ace in on the mound.
“When he pitches, we know we’ve got a great chance,” Robinson coach Jason Sarvis said. “He gives us confidence, and our team feeds off that. When he pitches, we hit the ball and catch the ball.”
It was an interesting game because East hurlers Josh Gobble (0-1) and Harrison Bell did a nice job.
Gobble allowed two runs in five innings. Harrison Bell threw two scoreless frames. If East had played outstanding defense, it might’ve still been 0-0 after seven.
“East’s pitchers were good,” Sarvis said. “They had us hitting flyballs, and in this ballpark, flyballs aren’t going anywhere.”
Robinson scored in the first inning on a bloop RBI double and added insurance in the fourth — a gift run that was the product of three East mistakes.
“That second run is what killed us,” East coach Brian Hightower said. “Their guy on the mound was good, and that second run took some things away from us.”
Most of the drama came in the bottom of the seventh after East put the first two men on base with a walk to Dustin Ritchie and a pinch-hit single by Mason Doby.
No. 6 hitter Chase Jarrett was next to face Perry.
“People are probably wondering why I didn’t bunt Jarrett there, but he had the best chance to get a hit,” Hightower said. “We were getting down to the bottom of the lineup, and Perry had been overmatching our guys. And Chase did get a fastball to hit on that at-bat. He just missed it.”
The pivotal pitch of the game was the 3-2 offering that Perry used to strike out Jarrett. It was a confident curveball, and a very good one, and Jarrett was strikeout No. 13 and out No. 1 in the seventh.
Perry called for that curveball himself.
“He always calls all his pitches,” Sarvis said. “He makes it pretty easy to come to the ballpark.”
After another strikeout and a tapper back to the mound, it was all over, and East’s record dropped to 5-9 for the first time since 2003.