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Peru clinches TRC crown on Senior Night

BY MATT FULLER - Peru Tribune Correspondent

Coming off of a 3-2 win against Whitko in 10 innings Monday evening, Peru needed a win against Tippecanoe Valley to guarantee an outright Three Rivers Conference title. Had the Tigers fallen to the Vikings, and Southwood defeated Rochester, then Peru would have tied the Knights for top honors in the TRC. That wouldn’t be the case though, as Southwood fell 8-6 and Peru picked up a convincing 16-5 win in five innings on senior night.

Peru head coach Chuck Brimbury was pleased with the team’s play and said they were able to send the seniors off as conference champs.

“I’m blessed to be here, I’m blessed to be a part of what these kids bring. Our senior leadership has been outstanding, and I absolutely love them.”

After retiring the side in order with Lucas McConahay picking up two of his three strikeouts on the night, Peru pounced on Tippecanoe Valley in the bottom of the first, putting up five runs on four RBIs.

Senior Sean Smith started the drive when his double to center field brought Daunte Majors in for the first run. Nathan Krisher returned the favor, knocking Smith in before stealing third and home to score himself.

Kasey Comp doubled down the third baseline, and Blake Edwards’ walk set up McConahay’s 2-RBI single to round out the first frame scoring.

Tippecanoe Valley fired back when Adam Myers took the first pitch of the second inning deep for a solo home run. The next two Viking batters walked, setting up the second run of the top-half of the inning after courtesy runner Riley Weitzel stole third. McConahay was able to regain his composure and record his third strike out before any further damage was done.

Sean Smith retaliated with a solo shot of his own in the bottom of the second, while Myers picked up another RBI on a single to center field in the top of the third. Myers was later thrown out attempted to steal second in a play that left Tiger second baseman Kasey Comp shook up. Comp remained in the game, and Peru catcher Nathan Brimbury connected with him again to make the Vikings pay for trying to capitalize on the earlier collision, gunning down another attempt to take second.

Robert Cunningham’s solo home run kicked off a 10-run third inning for Peru that saw Blake Edwards, Todd Dickerhoff, and McConahay all double as the Tigers batted through the lineup.

A Viking rally was cut short in the fifth inning, as the visitors were only able to muster two runs, giving Peru a 16-5 victory.

Brimbury praised his seniors for their dedication to the program and to each other.

“I was just really proud of our seniors. I’ll be honest, they’re the core and the glue of what our program stands for and believes in,” Brimbury said. “How many times do you announce on senior night every kid has an A average? Cumulative for four years. How many times do you sit in the living room with kids and they say, ‘Not only can I accept my role, I’ll embrace my role and I’ll mentor others about playing time, about hustle, about being a good teammate—not just a good player.’ When we talk about our seniors, that’s who they are. They’ve been that way since I’ve got here.

“This group is a lot closer than some of the teams I’ve had. They’re not the most talented team I’ve had here, they’re one of the better teams I’ve had here though, because they play for each other. They don’t play for me, they don’t play for Coach (Rob) Hileman, you don’t play for coaches. You play for each other, and your school, and your community.”

At Peru

Tippecanoe Valley 021 02 — 5 6 3

Peru 510 0X — 16 10 3

WP — McConahay 5 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 5 K

LP — Early 3 IP, 10 H, 12 ER, 3 BB, 2 K

2B — Comp, Dickerhoff, Edwards, McConahay, Smith

HR — Myers; Cunningham, Smith 

RBI — Myers (2), Paxton; Krisher (3), McConahay (3), Cunningham (2), Smith (2), Edwards