“Obviously, this is not going to happen every night, but it gives the team a lot of confidence when it can put together a game like we did,” said Wizards’ manager Doug Dascenzo.
Robert Perry started the Wizards off with a double down the left field line and was driven in by shortstop Lance Zawadzki. Fort Wayne wasn’t done yet, as Zawadzki stole second, and third baseman Justin Baum doubled to deep right center. The Wizards closed the scoring with right fielder Yefri Carvajal’s flare to right to take the lead 3-0.
In the top of the second, Dayton got it back with a sacrifice fly and then a two-run home run by right fielder Justin Reed, the ninth batter in the order.
In the top of the fifth, Jeremy Hefner pitched himself out of a jam with runners on first and third and no outs after a swinging strike got past catcher Luis Martinez. He then proceeded to strike out the next two batters.
Hefner went five innings, and with the exception of a bad second inning, had an impressive line without having his best stuff.
“Hefner throws a fastball, changeup, and slider for strikes and that is hard to hit when you can throw all three,” said Bryan Oland whose two inning relief stint earned him the win.
In the bottom of the sixth, center fielder Brad Chalk appeared to rescue the Wizards from a major missed opportunity as the two previous batters failed to advance the runner from third with no outs. Chalk beat out a soft grounder to third to score Carvajal to put the Wizards ahead 4-3.
“I think a big part of that play was also that they didn’t hold [designated hitter Steve] Buschini at first, which forced them to try to get Chalk at first. It was a huge at-bat,” said Dascenzo.
Then the floodgates opened up.
The Wizards then proceeded to score six more runs as Perry tripled home Buschini and Chalk. Zawadzki and Baum then drew back to back walks when second baseman Andrew Parrino doubled off of the center field wall bringing home three more. Carvajal, who had opened the inning by getting on base on an error by the third baseman, then got a liner past the center fielder for a two-base error driving home Parrino for the final run.
The Wizards added another run in the seventh inning to conclude their scoring, but the offensive star of the game was Perry.
Perry, who had struggled at the beginning of the year in Lake Elsinore before being sent down, has been showing much of the promise predicted by him for many going into this year in the Midwest League, beginning the game with a .326/.410/.402 stat line. He went 3-for-4, with a double, triple and a base-on-balls, just missing the cycle.
“It goes through your head but it’s also a good way to get yourself out of what you’re trying to do at the plate, be in control," said Perry. "When you get a consistent approach and stick with it, good things will happen, which is what I am trying to do."