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Ripke perfect in Lafayette Jeff's baseball sectional victory
May 24, 2012Lafayette Jefferson High School
There was a reason Peter Ripke was comfortable on the Loeb Stadium mound Wednesday night.
“My brother (John) was fixing it for me because he’s on the ground crew,” the Lafayette Jeff junior said.
John Ripke gets an assist, but Peter Ripke did the work, tossing a five-inning perfect game during a 10-0 victory over Marion in the opening round of the Class 4A sectional at Loeb Stadium.
According to the Jeff media guide, it’s the second perfect game in school history. Brad Conner threw perfect game in 1981 against West Lafayette.
“It’s a special one,” Ripke said. “It’s a memory I’ll have the rest of my life.”
The right-hander was in control from the start against the struggling Giants, who lost 24 of 29 games this season. He struck seven batters - all in the final four innings - and perfection was never in danger of being challenged.
“He really had his best stuff,” said junior catcher Reid Pittard, who had three hits and drove in three runs. “He even felt like he was throwing hard in the bullpen. I knew he had it.
“He always seems to be throwing better late in the game. The first two innings he’s usually a little tight. Once he loosens up he throws well.”
Ripke’s curveball was sharp and his overall command improved with each inning.
“His breaking ball was hard and it was hard to see it coming,” Jeff coach Scott McTagertt said. “He started it so low that if you hit it, you were going to pound it in the ground. He had about any pitch he wanted to throw today.”
Warming up in the bullpen, Ripke said his curveball wasn’t effective. He made an adjustment once the game started and it proved to be the difference.
“It wasn’t really cutting,” Ripke said. “In the game, I switched my arm angle and let my front foot get down. I felt great with the command up there. My defense pick me up. They picked up the ball and had no errors.”
All the offense Ripke and the Bronchos needed came in the first inning against Marion starter Devon Sheward. The first five batters had hits, including Pittard’s two-run double, as Jeff opened up a 5-0 lead.
“We were trying to stay aggressive, and I was seeing the ball really well,” Pittard said.
But this night belonged to Ripke, who appreciated the silence in the dugout.
“As the game went on, no one told me in the dugout,” he said. “That was good.”