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Apr. 8—NORWALK — Some days, your best isn't enough.
The Norwalk baseball team played well enough to win Wednesday's SBC Lake Division game against visiting Perkins. But it was the Pirates who were just a touch better in several areas, as they held off a late Norwalk rally attempt for a 5-3 win.
"I thought their approach at the plate was pretty good," Norwalk coach Wes Douglas said of the Pirates. "They put together some really good at-bats against one of the better pitchers in the league in Thomas (Gfell). I think they played just a little bit better than us, everywhere."
Leading 5-2 with the leadoff runner on base, the Pirates (4-2, 3-0) made three difficult plays in the field and allowed just one run to hold off the Truckers (4-3, 2-1) in the seventh inning.
Kelton Chapin led off the inning with a walk for the Truckers. After Perkins' Landon Kim threw a wild pitch, pinch runner Jesse Cole was on second base. Then, Sam Battles hit a deep fly ball to right-center that Luke Walton hauled in for the first out, and Cole advanced to third.
Norwalk's Eli Obringer then smoked a ball to dead center, but Luke Walton again made a tough catch on the run to prevent an extra base hit. Cole scored to make it 5-3, but there were two outs and nobody on base.
Kim then got Nathan Adelman to sky a fly ball toward first base, and Zach Rickard had to change course at the last moment as the ball came down, and he was able to secure the catch to end the game.
If the Obringer deep fly had been out of reach, the Truckers would have been batting with a runner on second and just one out, down two runs.
"It wasn't for a lack of putting the ball in play, but that's baseball," Douglas said. "Again, I thought they had some really good at-bats against some tough pitches. Their approach was pretty good, which is something we keep talking about.
"I wasn't disappointed in our effort. We just got outplayed a little bit in a game with good pitching, and it ends up a 5-3 game in their favor. They found a way to win it and we didn't."
The Pirates grabbed an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Luke Walton led off the game with a single. He advanced to second on a balk, and to third on a sacrifice bunt by Tyler Walton. He then scored on a sacrifice fly to left by Kaiden Weyer.
The Truckers answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second when Chapin hit a two-run double off starter Luke Walton.
The Pirates then grabbed the lead back with two runs in the top of the fourth, as Weyer reached on an error and Nathan Majoy, who was subbed in for the injured Toby Yoakum, singled to put two on with one out.
Ben Keller then singled in Weyer, and Majoy also scored on the misplayed ball for a 3-2 advantage.
Perkins then added a pair of insurance runs in the fifth off Norwalk starter Thomas Gfell. Richard singled to left, then scored on an RBI single from Luke Walton for a 4-2 lead. The Pirates made it 5-2 on a double-steal, as Walton scored on a steal of home, and Weyer was caught in a rundown attempting to go to second to end the inning.
Luke Walton was 3 for 4 with an RBI and scored two runs while pitching the first four innings on the mound. He allowed two unearned runs on three hits with five strikeouts and three walks.
Kim was credited with the win, allowing one earned run on two hits with two strikeouts and a walk over the final three innings.
Obringer was 2 for 3 with an RBI for the Truckers. Gfell allowed five runs (three earned) on six hits with three strikeouts and no walks in five innings. Caleb Sommers pitched two scoreless innings of relief.
Both coaches agreed things are far from settled in a deep SBC Lake Division.
"It seems like we split every year anymore, and they are usually games like today with good pitching, good defense and timely hitting," Perkins coach Chris Walton said of the win over Norwalk. "Coach Douglas does a phenomenal job with his program, and anytime we can come here and beat them, we should feel good about it.
"But there is no letting up," he added. "Not in this league this year."
Norwalk will play at Willard (1-5) in a non-league game on Friday, then travel to Medina to play Keystone and Buckeye for two games on Saturday before getting back in league play on Monday at home vs. Sandusky.
"It's early in the year, but this was a game we obviously wanted to play a little bit better and come out with a win," Douglas said. "But I think a couple losses could win this league, so we'll see. We'll bounce back.
"We're a little healthier than we were a week ago with some sore arms, so we'll keep our attitude up here. That's a pretty good baseball team we lost to."
Perkins 100 220 0 — 5 7 2
Norwalk 020 000 1 — 3 5 4
WP: Walton; LP: Gfell
2B: (N) Chapin