CARBONDALE — Through wind and dust, the Carbondale Terriers seized victory in dramatic walk-off fashion Thursday, thanks to a walk-off single by Dylan Perrott in the last inning to topple the Belleville Althoff Crusaders, 5-4.
The game was tied at four in the bottom of the seventh when Perrott singled on a 1-1 count to score Bodie Jones from second base. The walk-off single was Perrott’s only hit in three plate appearances.
“I knew I hit the ball pretty well in my first two at bats, and I just thought sit back and hit it hard somewhere,” said Perrott. “I knew he was throwing strikes, so I was just ready to hit it.”
Perrott started the game for the Terriers. He surrendered three runs on eight hits over four innings, striking out five.
Carbondale sophomore Vinny Rushing started off the seventh with a leadoff walk. That brought up Jones, who drove a double over Crusaders left fielder Jhaden Fridge’s head. Rushing was waved home and gunned down at the plate after Fridge hit cutoff man Kaleb Laramore to get Rushing at the plate. That brought up Perrott to seal the deal for the Terriers.
“I almost messed it up for us,” said Carbondale coach Scott Hankey. “I tried to slow (Perrott) down at third. I had him slow down … stop … go ... stop, so I almost screwed us up. Dylan picked me up, he picked our team up, that was clutch. He started off the game as a pitcher … sat the last couple of innings. I had a feeling in my gut that if I reentered him he was going to get that clutch hit that we needed and boom, it worked out.”
Riley Dyer got the win for the Terriers. He allowed one hit and zero runs over one and two-thirds innings, striking out four and walking one. Braeden Shirley threw one and one-third innings in relief out of the bullpen.
Carbondale (7-4) opened up scoring in the first inning, when Rushing singled on a 3-2 count to score Justin Massingale. Rushing came around to score to give the Terriers an early 2-0 lead.
The Crusaders fought back to tie the game up at 3-3 in the fourth inning. After fouling off four-straight pitches, Josh Dima delivered a two-run single in a nine-pitch battle against Perrott.
Belleville Althoff (5-8) scored the go-ahead run in the sixth after Jack Toenjes was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to score Colin Wagner from third.
Dyer relieved Shirley on the mound for Carbondale in the sixth after Belleville Althoff went up 4-3. Dyer recorded back-to-back strikeouts to strand the bases loaded and get out of the inning.
“I thought all of our pitchers stepped up very well,” said Hankey. Shirley came in and shut down the threat when they had it early on. Then Dyer came in and relieved him when they had the bases loaded and we had to get a couple outs. (Dyer’s) a sophomore, but that kids got a lot of heart … this team has a lot of heart.”
The Terriers came through in the sixth thanks to an RBI double by Aiden Skiles that scored James Baltz to even things up.
Dyer recorded two more strikeouts at the top of the seventh to make quick work of the Crusaders, and setup Carbondale with the opportunity they needed in the final inning.
“I think it’s just staying in it the whole time,” said Perrott. “My teammates did a really good job of coming out of the bullpen to keep us in it.”
Carbondale totaled eight hits. Jones and Rushing both had multiple hits for the Terriers.
Michael Sinovic took the loss for Belleville Althoff. He surrendered five runs on eight hits over six and a third innings, striking out one.
Alek Falk led the Crusaders with two hits in four at bats.
“(Sinovic) did great … he’s been injured,” said Belleville Althoff coach Brett Isaacs. “I’ll give credit to Carbondale. Their pitchers did a decent job of keeping us close, but Jones is a good catcher for them, and if you’re going to make a move on him you better know you’ve got it because he can throw it around.”
Carbondale will play on the road Tuesday against Marion at 4:30 p.m.