With a steady wind blowing in and chilly temperatures, the weather conditions at Leyland Field set up perfectly for a pitchers duel between host Perrysburg and Southview on Monday.
Southview sophomore pitcher Sam Stout matched the Northern Lakes League's top hurler, Mark Delas of Perrysburg, pitch for pitch. The Cougars managed to get one run off of the Yellow Jackets’ senior ace and Southview senior Colin Boerst knocked in the game-winning run in the seventh inning.
Southview forced Delas to labor all game long and ultimately prevailed 2-1. Stout yielded just two hits to the No. 7 ranked team in the state.
“It gives me more adrenaline because obviously Delas is one of the best pitchers around,” Stout said. “You want to see how good you are against him. I was hitting my spots.
"The outside and inside corners were my best friend. The high fastball helped, too.”
Delas, who will play at the University of Toledo next year, entered the game with the lowest earned run average in the NLL. His pitch count climbed to 120 in the sixth inning and Trevor Hafner had to relieve him.
The Cougars took advantage of a throwing error and Boerst came up with a hard-lined single to right field to plate Tre Sims.
“It felt great to finally get on top of one,” Boerst said. “I'm glad we came out on top.
"Delas is a great pitcher. We kept battling and working the counts. It paid off in the end.”
Perrysburg (14-3), the preseason favorite in the NLL, fell to 5-2 in league play and one game behind Napoleon (6-2) in the standings.
The Yellow Jackets came into the contest on a six-game winning streak. Southview (11-7), which was picked to finish second, improved to 4-5.
“These kids are excited because they beat a very good Perrysburg team with Delas on the mound,” Southview coach Ed Mouch said.
“It was a good win and it was a tournament-type game and we were fortunate to come out on top. This will helps us down the road.”
Stout, the Cougars' No. 3 starting pitcher, escaped a bases loaded situation in the first inning.
Stout allowed three walks in the inning and a throwing error gave Perrysburg a 1-0 lead without a hit.
After walking the bases loaded, Stout fanned Chaz Westfall.
“Getting out of the bases loaded jam helped a lot,” Stout said.
“Having this win with the tournament coming up can really boost us up.”
Perrysburg coach Dave Hall said his team hit too many lazy fly balls into the stiff wind.
“We did not hit. As simple as that. We didn't adjust and [Stout] threw really well,” Hall said. “We had the bases loaded in the first inning and didn't have too many opportunities after that. Then we had the big error in the seventh and that was the difference.
"Their record is very deceiving. We're halfway through [league play] and it will be a dogfight.”
Southview made Delas throw 23 pitches in the first but Delas struck out the side in the second.
The Cougars made Delas throw 23 more pitches in the third to tie it at 1. With two outs sophomore Nick Valsnick come through with a solid single to short right-center.
Jake Holloway scored to knot it.
Delas, who had a 0.31 ERA entering the game, finished with eight strikeouts. Hafner gave up his first earned run of the season.
Meanwhile, Stout walked six batters but had a no hitter intact until the fifth inning.
Zach Honsberger laid down a bunt single for the Yellow Jackets' first hit. Stout struck out Delas and, following an intentional walk, he coaxed a groundout.
Stout allowed a bloop single in the sixth but escaped damage with a strikeout. He ended the game with his sixth strikeout.
“We have a lot of confidence in Sam,” Mouch said. “When we throw him out there, we expect good performances. He got ahead of people and threw strikes.”
Mouch said his team was more aggressive but also more disciplined at the plate.
The Cougar defense committed just one error, while Perrsyburg had four.
“Whoever makes the last mistake is going to lose because this league is so competitive,” Mouch said. “We lost 5-1 to them last time because we made the last mistake.”