East third baseman looking for a change in outcome Friday night (VIDEO)
March 14, 2013 at 11:02 p.m.
Updated March 13, 2013 at 10:14 p.m.
Hunter Perkins has beaten Victoria West just once in his time at Victoria East.
That victory came during the 2011 season. The Titans won a thriller 9-8 in the first of three meetings that season. Since that game, though, Perkins and the rest of Titans have been on the losing end of the rivalry.
Friday night, Perkins hopes to change that.
"It's huge," the senior first baseman and pitcher said. "We haven't beaten them since the first year of the rivalry. So, we're looking to beat them this year. We're just going to play good baseball and see what happens at the end."
The Warriors won the second meeting against East in 2011, 18-8, and both games during the 2012 season, 7-5 and 8-7.
However, Perkins and the Titans hope to end West's three-game win streak over them as well as West's 17-game district win streak.
"It's a big rivalry win, and it's also big to get a win in district play," Perkins said. "We want to show them who we really are and just play good baseball."
East and West will come into Friday night's contest with nearly identical records. Perkins has played a big role in helping the Titans go 9-8-1 to start the season. The Warriors are 8-7-1.
"His pitching has been superb so far this year," East coach Wes Kolle said. "He's given us a chance to win every time he's been out there. He pounds the strike zone and gets ahead in counts. He's also got some through lately with some big hits, too."
Hitting has been one of Perkins' biggest strengths, but this year, he has been just as good on the mound.
"I've been doing pretty good," Perkins said humbly. "We have a pretty good pitching staff, and we just have to keep playing good on defense."
Perkins has built a 2-2 record in 18.2 innings of work, accumulating a 1.88 ERA. He's given up just five earned runs while striking out 21 batters. Along with teammate Ryan Williams, the duo gives East a great one-two punch in its starting rotation.
"Ryan Williams and Hunter have teamed up and are 1 and 1A," Kolle said with a smile.
At the plate, Perkins has been just as good. His average isn't the highest of the Titans (.267 batting average), but he leads the team in runs batted in with 11. He also has 12 hits and six runs scored.
"I've been doing OK at the plate," Perkins said. "I've been a little rough, but I've been working hard, and it's coming through now."
East will need Perkins to come through Friday night, as well as the rest of the Titan players. However, beating their rival won't be the biggest thought on their minds.
"Obviously, we want to get the district win because it'll help us achieve our goals of winning a district title and moving into the playoffs," Kolle said. "But it's nice to get the win against West. It's kind of icing on the cake."