After a 16-inning marathon on Sunday which saw the Sedalia Bombers use six different pitchers, one pitcher got them most of the way on Monday as Sam Perez pitched seven innings in the Bombers’ 7-1 win over the Ozark Generals at Dey Field at Liberty Park.
Perez struck out 11, issued no walks and allowed no runs on two hits, one an infield single. He needed just 80 pitches to do it.
“We needed that big-time and a guy going into his senior year stepped up for us,” said Bombers manager Craig McAndrews. “That was huge after a 16-inning game, (Sunday) we just tried to get stops but at the same time you’ve got to be smart and you can’t just run guys out there five, six innings who aren’t used to throwing five, six innings. You have to send them back to their school healthy.”
After an error put the leadoff man on in the first, Perez retired the next 16 men he faced, including a stretch where he struck out seven of eight. He credited that hot streak to being in tune with catcher Jack Mercer.
“We hadn’t played Ozark very much this season, so me and Jack decided to go with my strengths which is the side-arm fastball, and go from there in terms of how they responded,” Perez said. “I know a couple times I tried to juice up the fastball and a lot of things seemed to be working for me. A lot of jammed thumbs.”
Adam Chamblee eventually broke up the no-hit bid with a one-out single in the sixth but Perez stranded him there to end the inning.
Ryan Schmidt came on in relief, working a one-two-three eighth inning before allowing a run in the ninth.
The Bombers went down in order in the first two innings but put together a rally in the third. Jarod Perry singled up the middle to drive in Jack Mercer and Hunter Leeper. Perry then scored on a wild pitch.
They added another in the fifth. Leeper hit his second double of the game to lead off the inning and scored on a single by Trey Harris.
“I was just trying to stay back and do a job,” Harris said.
Harris brought in Perry again in the seventh with a sacrifice fly to center to make it 5-0. The Bombers added another later in the seventh as Jonothan Ramon hit a ball to right-center just out of the reach of the centerfielder. Ramon wound up at third for a triple and Stewart Nelson scored. Jordan Dey drove Ramon in with a single to right.
Dey, a Sedalia native and Bombers first baseman, was named the MINK League player of the week after he went 4 for 5 at the plate in a Wednesday win over Cillicothe. He hit a two-run homer in Thursday’s win over Branson and hit another home run, his third of the year, in the ninth inning of Sunday’s 6-5, 16 inning loss at Nevada.
Dey finished the week with a .302 batting average for the season with 19 RBI. He then had two more hits in the win Monday.
“He’s locked in, he’s confident,” McAndrews said. “He’s playing every single day and I think that helps when you’re playing every single day. … He’s locked in right now and when you’re seeing it, you’re seeing it.”
The Bombers head north to face Clarinda on Tuesday before turning around and going south to face Ozark Wednesday.