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Peru offense stays hot to topple Taylor

TWIRLING: Peru pitcher Lucas McConahay picked up his second win of the season Monday night, pitching five innings, giving up three hits, two unearned runs and striking out two batters against Taylor. The Tiger bats, meanwhile, continued their run surge in the 12-2 win over the Titans.

BY TRENT SCOTT - tscott@perutribune.com

Peru didn’t score quite as many runs in the first inning of Monday night’s make-up baseball game with Taylor as they did against Argos.

The five runs the Tigers did score, however, were plenty enough as the hosts picked up their second win of the season in five innings, dropping the Titans 12-2.

Peru head coach Chuck Brimbury said the team was disciplined at the plate and kept the pressure on Taylor.

“The kids are anxious to play,” Brimbury said. “Most people will see the runs but we like the defense we’re playing right now.

“Christian (Gatliff) and Nathan (Brimbury) are both seeing the ball very well right now and we’re running the bases well.”

After a 1-2-3 inning from Lucas McConahay on the mound, Peru went to work with the bats, starting with a Duante Majors single.

Brimbury was plunked and both runners stole a base before back-to-back walks to Kasey Comp and Blake Edwards forced in a run.

Gatliff followed with a double, Robert Cunningham was hit by a pitch, as was Austin Caldwell, while Kade Townsend grounded into a fielder’s choice that left the hosts ahead 5-0.

Brimbury gave credit to coach Rob Hileman for the team being ready at the plate from the first pitch.

“That’s coach (Rob) Hileman,” Brimbury said when asked about the success early in the game.

“He handles the (batting practice) before the game and it certainly helps that we play at home.

“Coach Hileman works with these kids and does a nice job with their hitting. The kids are swinging at pitches they can handle and finding ways to get on base.”

The five runs were more than enough support for McConahay, who only pitched two innings against Argos last Friday, as the right-hander worked all five innings, allowing three hits and two unearned runs while fanning two batters.

The performance was another solid outing for senior, who pitched to the team’s strengths according to Brimbury.

“Lucas threw 61 pitches today and we had him down for a limit of 65,” Brimbury noted.

“He can throw a lot more than that but we don’t want him to yet.

“If you can get out of a game throwing only 60 pitches, you’ve had a very nice high school outing. He understands his role on the mound well, throws strikes and lets the defense play behind him.”

Taylor scored its first run of the game in the top of the second inning but the Tigers answered with three runs in the bottom of inning after McConahay walked, Brimbury hit a single and Comp was hit by a pitch.

Edwards singled, Gatliff was hit by a pitch and Caldwell grounded into a fielder’s choice to tack on the three runs and move the hosts ahead 8-1.

Brimbury doubled in the bottom of the third and courtesy runner DJ Fuller would steal third base, scoring when the throw to the bag went into left field.

The Titans grabbed a second run in the fifth inning but Peru’s offense was quick to end the game in the bottom half of the inning.

Majors reached on an error, McConahay was safe on a sac bunt attempt and Brimbury singled to make the game 10-1.

Gatliff applied the finishing touch with his second double of the game to bring in runs 11 and 12 and finish the game by run rule.

Both of Taylor’s runs were unearned off of errors and Brimbury was pleased to see the players not only take responsibility for the mishaps but for the rest of the team to rally around them.

“One of the things the players said on the field after the game was that they did a good job of staying positive and coaching on the field,” Brimbury said. “We talk about, if someone makes a mistake, there should be 20 guys looking to pick him up.

“Everybody is going to make errors as the fields a little bumpy in places but we’ll get those things worked out.”

Peru takes to the road for the first time Wednesday in the all-Tiger battle against Northwestern.

Brimbury said several arms would see work during the game but felt confident that the defense would be there to back them up.

“We tell the guys that no matter who is on the bump, they have to compete because pitchers No. 2-8 are not all that different right now,” Brimbury said. “They’re all young, throw strikes and we’re going to tell them to pound the zone because we feel we can play the defense behind them.”

At Peru

Taylor 010 01 — 2 3 5

Peru 531 03 — 12 6 2

WP — McConahay (2-0) CG, 3 H, 2 R, 2 K

3B — Brubaker

2B — Gatliff (2), Brimbury

RBI — Gatliff (4), Caldwell (2), Edwards (2), Townsend, Comp, Brimbury

Next Game: Peru (2-0) travels to Northwestern (0-1) Wednesday at 6 p.m.