Polk County took care of the routines and Landrum.
The Wolverines snapped a five-game losing streak Thursday, getting an outstanding effort on the mound from freshman Alex Perry in taking a 6-1 victory over the Cardinals at The Bottoms.
Polk County (4-6) completed a season sweep of Landrum (4-6) in large part thanks to Perry and its defense. The Wolverines avoided the fielding woes that were common in recent losses, including Tuesday’s 12-9 setback at Hendersonville, committing just one error in Thursday’s win.
“We’ve been struggling in the field, fielding ground balls, and tonight one thing we talked about was making the routines, and we did that,” said Polk County head coach Billy Alm. “One unearned run, that’s better than 11 from the other night.”
Perry tossed six innings, allowing just three hits, striking out four and walking four. He stayed ahead in the count, with first-pitch strikes to 13 of 22 batters, and got key defensive plays when needed to keep the Cardinals in check.
“AP changed speeds. He went out and let the defense help him out, and we had some big plays on defense,” Alm said. “And he threw strikes.
“Alex Tipton behind the plate had some big plays for us to stop any kind of rallies. So it was definitely a good night for the freshman for sure.”
Polk County did its offensive damage early, scoring three runs in both the first and second innings. Gunnar Alm opened the first with a line-drive double down the right-field line, with Tipton following with an infield hit and Lawson Carter drawing a walk to load the bases.
Angus Weaver, who homered twice in Tuesday’s loss, ground into a fielder’s choice that allowed Alm to score. With two outs, Carter scored on a wild pitch, and Noah Harden lashed a single to left to plate Weaver and give Polk a 3-0 lead.
Walks to Cohen Edwards and Alm, plus Tipton being hit by a pitch, allowed Polk to load the bases in the second. With two outs, Weaver was also struck by a pitch, bringing in one run, and Avery Hensley followed with a sharp single to left that drove in two more and gave Polk its 6-0 lead.
Two walks and a two-out error in the third provided Landrum with its only run.
Alm, Tipton, Hensley and Harden each had base hits for Polk, with Weaver and Hensley each finishing with two RBI. Hensley also pitched a perfect seventh inning to close the game.
Polk County is back at The Bottoms on Friday, hosting Hendersonville in a Mountain Foothills 7 Conference matchup.