CEDAR RAPIDS — Casey Perrenoud opted for more rest in the offseason.
The Western Dubuque junior pitcher had become accustomed to resting his arm for just 90 days between summers. That is, until too much work limited him to just nine total innings on the mound last season.
“I took a longer offseason this time and that really helped,” Perrenoud said after helping the Class 4A No. 2 Bobcats earn a split with 3A No. 1 Cedar Rapids Xavier, 10-1, in the second game of a Mississippi Valley Conference prep baseball doubleheader Monday night at Ken Charipar Field. “Let the arm heal up from last year. A little elbow issue, but I am feeling 100 percent now.”
Perrenoud did not throw at all between the end of September and mid-January. The result has been a perfect 4-0 record in four starts, a minuscule earned run average of 0.23, 30 strikeouts and just six walks.
Against Xavier, he allowed four hits, one unearned run and struck out six in a seven-inning complete game.
“He just did what he does,” Western Dubuque Coach Casey Bryant said. “He is tough on righties because he drops down from the side and he hits spots and changes speeds. He is just a competitor out there. He is pitching his butt off for us.”
Both Western Dubuque and Xavier are now 13-2 overall. Perrenoud’s victory helped the Bobcats remain atop the MVC Mississippi Division at 11-1 in conference play with Xavier at 8-2.
With a healthy Perrenoud on a pitching staff that includes three Division-I recruits in senior Sam Goodman (Iowa), junior Calvin Harris (Mississippi) and senior Zach Bierman (Creighton), the pieces are in place for the Bobcats to take another step after reaching the 4A state semifinals last season.
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“When I’m not pitching, just be the guy that fills in,” said Perrenoud, who played third base in the first game. “Just go out there and throw strikes is basically the role and let the defense do its thing. With our style of defense, getting ground balls, it is tough to lose.”
In the first game, Xavier sophomore pitcher Bryson Bastian (3-0) handed Goodman his first loss this season, 3-0, with nine strikeouts in seven shutout innings.
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