PERHAM - Stellar pitching continues to benefit the Perham baseball team as the Yellowjackets improved to 15-1 with a mercy rule 10-0 victory over Ottertail Central (9-6) Monday.
Dylan Kruzel was nearly untouchable pitching a two-hit shutout for five innings. Kruzel struck out 10 of the 17 batters he faced, two over the minimum.
Those two were singles to Bulldog’s catcher Tyler Aune in the first inning and a base hit to leadoff hitter Andrew Van Erp in the third inning. No Bulldogs touched third base and Kruzel gave up no freebies via bases on balls.
Kruzel struck out eight of the last 10 batters he faced in nailing down the game in the shortened five frames.
Perham scored five runs in the first and five in the third inning.
Jaden Meyer belted a three-run home run scoring CJ Mulcahy and Kruzel to cap the first inning scoring. The first five Yellowjackets scored as leadoff hitter Josh Still and Tanner Carlson came around before Meyer’s bomb over the left-centerfield fence.
Kruzel singled to get the third inning started. Meyer was beaned and Joe Solberg reached first base safely on an attempted sacrifice bunt down the first base line to load the bases.
Mason Malikowski knocked in Kruzel with a single to make the score 6-0.
Meyer scored when Jake Trosdahl, in relief of starter Brandon DeBauche, induced a 6-4-3 double play off the bat of Sam Pirrotta.
Nathan Currier walked and stole second base.
Solberg made the score 8-0 when he slipped home from third base on the throw to second not in time to get Currier and bobbled by the second baseman.
Josh Still walked and stole second base and Tanner Carlson sealed the game with a two-RBI, two-out single to bring Currier and Still home.
Perham beat up Bulldogs’ starter DeBauche who lasted 2 ⅔ innings facing 20 batters, allowing 10 runs. He walked two.
In relief, Trosdahl kept Perham off the scoreboard for 2 ⅓ innings, walking three and striking out one.
Kruzel and Meyer scored twice for Perham. Seven of the starting nine crossed home plate.
Kruzel’s line was five innings, 17 batters, 10 strikeouts, no walks, picking up his third victory in as many tries.
Kruzel also led at the plate with the only multi-hit game going 2-3 with one RBI.
Carlson (2) and Meyer (3) combined for five RBI. Meyer was 1-1, with a walk and was hit once. Carlson was 1-2, also beaned and flied to right.
Perham continues a three-game set against regional Class A teams when the Yellowjackets play at Frazee (8-7) Tuesday and end regular season play Thursday at home versus New York Mills (14-0).
Of Perham's 15 wins this season, seven have come by the 10-run rule.
With a late start at 5 p.m. due to weather, the game lasted only one hour, 25 minutes.
OTC 000 00 - 0 2 3
PER 505 0x - 10 8 0WP: Kruzel; LP: DeBauche; HR: Meyer