The student voice of Perry High School

The Precedent

Filed under Showcase, Sports

After bumpy start, baseball finishes inside top 6

Thomas Richardson
Junior Ty Pohlman fires a pitch in the playoff game against Kofa.

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It is never easy to be at peace with a playoff loss, especially late in the postseason – especially when your team will lose 12 of the 25 rostered players to graduation.

The class of 2017 has one of the largest senior classes in both school enrollment and baseball players, and this year’s starting lineup bolstered seven regular senior starters.

“It is a special group of guys,” head coach Damien Tippett said. “We won lots of tournaments together, this group was a little different than any other group I have had just because we had been through so much.”

With such a senior-loaded team returning, the expectations were that they Pumas would have another stellar year, but nobody saw them stumbling out of the gates. For the first time in school history, they lost their opening day game at Mountain Ridge.

Then they lost again, and again and again.

“It was a tough start, but we also had one of the toughest schedules in the country (according to MaxPreps),” Tippett said. “That tough schedule paid off at the end.”

After that 0-4 start, the Pumas’ season started to turn around. With an impressive showing at the Boras Classic spring break tournament, PHS was able to get to the championship game, which aired on ESPN.

“We were struggling early in the year and then we went to that Boras classic…and guys started stepping up, started getting comfortable. From there on out, we played our style of baseball,” said Tippett.

From the start of the the tournament through the end of the regular season, the Pumas would go 14-5 and finish second in the Premier region.

“There is a lot to be proud of here,” Tippett said.

Hard-throwing senior Dustin Schorie added that “it was a good season, I feel like we proved more than a lot of people thought we could do.”

One of Tippett’s fondest memories of the year was senior Coleman Roberts’ homer at Arcadia, which was actually the first of Roberts’ high school career.

Roberts felt that this year’s group was very tight-knit.

“We’ve all played for almost five years now, so I feel like that made it that much easier for us to play together. We were all brothers to each other.”

As far as the future of the program, Tippett was quick to point out that there is a lot of upside in the younger classes. Specifically, he – as well as Roberts and Schorie – pointed out sophomores Ryan Bleck and Caden Christopherson as two pitchers who made huge impacts this season.

The duo of Blech and Christpherson combined to pitch three shutout innings in the last playoff game against Horizon.

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After bumpy start, baseball finishes inside top 6