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By LARRY GOFFINET
LEOPOLD—Trent Rainey broke out of his slump and C.J. Rowe pitched a four-hitter as Tell City beat Perry Central 11-1 in baseball Wednesday.
Rainey went 3 for 3 plus a walk and drove in three runs to lead the Marksmen’s offense.
Spenser Beard and Austin Paulin each also had three of the Marksmen’s 17 hits. Casey May also drove in three runs with two doubles and a sacrifice fly.
Trent Zuelly added two doubles and drove in two runs.
Tell City Coach Jason Wilkerson said the key to Rainey’s breaking out of his hitting slump was “he quit taking so many first-pitch, fastball strikes tonight and he looked a lot better.”
“Our pitchers are still working behind (in the count) too much,” said Perry Central Coach Phil Zellers. “Then we have to groove a fastball, and a team like that is going to take it off the fence.”
The Marksmen’s offense was more than enough for Rowe to raise his record to 3-0, as the sophomore right-hander as emerged as the ace of their pitching staff.
He walked two and struck out three. His teammates backed him with errorless defense, including a crisply turned 6-4-3 double play in the sixth inning.
“C.J. was very efficient—through five innings he had thrown only 47 pitches,” noted Wilkerson. “He’s got the mentality of: ‘Here’s my best pitch—hit it.’”
Perry Central scored the game’s first run in the second inning. Trey Mullis walked and Zach Wright singled to left field to start the inning.
Both runners advanced a base on Anthony Mosby’s sacrifice bunt, and Mullis scored on Bryce Ridener’s ground out to the second baseman.
Tell City replied with four runs in the top of the third inning, though.
Beard led off with a triple to right-center and scored as Brian Arnold reached base on a throwing error by the second baseman.
Arnold stole second base, Paulin walked, and May doubled to left-center to score Arnold with the go-ahead run.
One out later Rainey drove in two more runs with a double to deep left field.
Austin Linne pitched the first 31⁄3 innings for Perry Central to take the loss. He gave up seven hits and three walks and struck out three.
Wright pitched the rest of the game, giving up 10 hits and one walk and striking out one.
He went 2 for 3 to lead Commodore hitters. A junior who had not played baseball since junior high and joined the team late this season, he is hitting .444 (4 for 9) in three games.
“I thought hitting would be the hardest part for him (after the long layoff), but he’s been hitting the ball well,” said Zellers.
Tell City improved to 7-6 while Perry Central slipped to 3-12.