With a division title on the line, McDowell’s Post 56 Junior Legion baseball team found the best time to come out and pitch with perfection.
Rising senior Justin Dula tossed a five-inning perfect game for Post 56 ‘A’ team in an 11-0 win at R-S Central on Tuesday night.
McDowell, with the victory, picks up its 13th consecutive win on the season and remains on top of the Area IV Western Division standings heading down the final stretch.
Dula tossed a masterpiece, shutting down R-S with five perfect innings on 63 pitches. Dula struck out eight batters and did an efficient job getting ahead in the count early. Of the 15 batters faced, Dula had a first-pitch strike against 10. And of the outs recorded, only two of them made it out of the McDowell infield, a pair of fly balls to center.
The perfect game helps what were already some impressive numbers for Dula on the season. The right-hander, in 31 1/3 innings, holds a 1.56 earned run average with 37 strikeouts on the season in six mound appearances.
Post 56, ahead 5-0 after three innings, used a six-run fifth inning to force the 10-run rule.
At the plate, Dula went 1-for-3 with an RBI, one run scored and one walk. McDowell had 13 hits in, total including two hits apiece from leadoff hitter Chapel Matson (2-4, RBI, BB), Ethan Davis (2-4, 2 doubles, RBI), Cyrus Black (2-3, double, RBI), Ben Barnes (2-3) and Dusty Revis (2-3, 2RBIs, BB).
Ethan Hamm went 1-for-3 with a double and two runs scored, and Three Young also had a hit and one RBI in four at bats.
Young’s RBI single with no outs in the fifth opened up the flood gates for McDowell. He was followed by a double from Black, putting runners at second and third. Young scored on a wild pitch to put Post 56 in front 7-0 and then a basehit from Revis scored Black to make it 8-0.
McDowell scored three more times in the frame, getting their advantage above the 10-run margin, which kicked in the mercy rule after Dula got a strikeout and two groundouts in the next half-inning ending the game.
Post 56 is at South Caldwell Thursday in a key matchup (6 p.m.).