Three up, three down.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
It was almost that easy for Wayne Juniors pitcher Adam Bentjen in the 2016 summer season opener at Hank Overin Field. He was flawless in five innings of work, starting the season with a perfect game as the Juniors handled Homer, 12-0.
Bentjen set down 10 of the 15 batters he faced on his own via the strikeout and never allowed a runner to reach base. In fact, the five plays made were all infield plays, so Homer never got a ball into the outfield in Monday's win.
Coach Jeff Zeiss was thrilled with his ace's effort on the mound.
"As long as I've been doing this, I don't know how many perfect games we've thrown," he said. "I knew he didn't have a hit, but the guys in the dugout weren't saying anything because they knew he didn't have a hit and that was good to see the kids recognize that and just let Adam do his thing."
Bentjen got all the help he would need in the first two innings. Wayne scored on a two-out throwing error that allowed Ryan Jaixen – pinch running for Zane Jackson – to come around from second when Justin Dean reached on the error.
Wayne opened up the floodgates in the second inning with seven runs, capped by a bases-clearing single by Dean. Wayne had three of their four hits in the big inning, and two Homer errors also helped the cause.
After that, it was all on Bentjen's arm, and he showed the kind of stuff he's capable of throwing every time he takes the mound, Zeiss said.
"He pitched well enough during the school season and I really felt sorry for him, because he'd give up 2-3 hits and pitched well enough to win a bunch more games this spring," he said. "He got that big lead and was more relaxed after that and hit his spots, and that's important because, as the season goes on, there are going to be times where we need him to hit the outside corner in a big situation, so to see that happen tonight was good for us."
Wayne has a 7 p.m. home game Friday against Battle Creek on Friday and a triangular with Omaha Central and West Point on Saturday, and with some players going out of town for band trips and other events, it will be a good chance for younger players to step up, Zeiss said.
"We have some tough games coming up this week, so it's a chance for these younger kids to get some action and see what it takes to play Legion ball," he said.
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