Perrot outstanding in relief as Louisiana moves on
A closer look at the River Ridge, Louisiana 3-2 win over Salem, Oregon on Saturday at Lamade Stadium:
PLAY OF THE GAME: Pitcher Conner Perrot threw outstanding in relief and then started the play that helped Louisiana continue its world-title pursuit. With the tying run on first and the winning run at the plate, Perrot stopped a hard grounder and wheeled to second where shortstop Stan Wiltz fielded the throw for the force out and made a snap throw to Marshall Louque for the final out as Louisiana won a thriller.
OREGON PLAYER OF THE GAME: Oregon shortstop Andrew Mhoon put on a defensive clinic and made a series of tremendous plays. He was a big reason Louisiana did not score after the third inning and also went 2 for 2 with an RBI double, a run scored and a walk.
LOUISIANA PLAYER OF THE GAME: One of the hottest hitters early at this Series, Reece Roussel went 2 for 3 with a double and two RBIs. Roussel has four hits in two Series games, and his two-run double which put Louisiana up 3-0 in the third was the game’s biggest hit.
BIG INNING: The Southwest champions scored three times and built a 3-0 lead in the top of the third as it made the most of its two hits. Egan Prather drew a leadoff walk, Wiltz singled, Ryan Darrah was hit by a pitch and Roussel provided the big blow.
BEST EFFORT: Louisiana’s pitching duo of Prather and Perrot combined on a four-hitter, struck out six and let their flawless defense work behind them. Prather allowed one hit in 2 1/3 innings and kept his pitch count down, and Perrot shined in relief. Perrot scattered three hits in 3 2/3 innings and struck out four, holding Oregon scoreless over the final three innings.
FLASHING LEATHER: Mhoon scooped up a Perot rocket and made a strong throw first as the Northwest champions opened the second inning strong. Mhoon was at it again an inning later, running into the hole and snaring a Marshall Louque liner that looked like it might go for an RBI double.
Will Andrade went Brooks Robinson on a slow roller in the bottom of that inning, taking a hit away from Brady Strenke. The ball was hit in no-man’s land between the mound and third, but Andrade charged hard, scooped it and made a brilliant throw across his body that beat Strenke by a step. A run scored from third, but getting that second out helped stop the bleeding after Oregon had scored twice to pull within 3-2.
Spencer Shortis kept the stellar Oregon defense going in the fourth inning, stopping a grounder and starting a double play. Second baseman Henry Mhoon made a smooth turn at second, throwing to first baseman Jacob Hoda to complete the play.
WHAT THE ADULTS SAY: “We’re just trying to keep the kids as loose as possible and just try and make it as much like playing a baseball game as we can despite the crowd and the ramifications of every game we play at this point,” Louisiana manager Scott Frazier said. “The kids were relaxed and ready to go.”
WHAT THE KIDS SAY: “It was awesome. I was so excited,” Roussel about his two-run double. “Once I squared it up I knew it was going to drop and I knew it was going to be something big in the game.”
WHAT IT MEANS: Louisiana stays alive at the Series and is now one of the top 6 U.S. teams. It will play the loser of today’s Virginia/Minnesota game in an another elimination contest. Oregon is eliminated at the Series but can close with a win Tuesday when it plays Italy in a consolation game.