Parkway upsets Liberty-Benton in D-III sectional finals
Monday, May 19, 2014 12:00 AM
By Daniel Joseph
Parkway first baseman Brody Adams makes a lunging catch of a line drive in Saturday’s D-III sectional final versus Liberty-Benton. The Panthers upset the Eagles by a 4-2 score. (dhi MEDIA/ Pat Agler)
dhi MEDIA Correspondent
FINDLAY — In a game that had been postponed due to rainy conditions, the Parkway Panthers were finally able to travel to Liberty-Benton to take on the Blanchard Valley Conference champions in Division III sectional play. Despite striking out 11 times in the game, the Panthers came away with a 4-2 win on Saturday afternoon.
Parkway (14-13) moves on to the district semi-finals, to be played on Thursday aftert noon at Ohio Northern University in Ada. They will take on Midwest Athletic Conference rival Coldwater in that game.
“It’s been awhile,” said Parkway head coach Luke Clouse about moving on to districts.
“We play (Coldwater) a lot in the summer and we are really familiar with each other,” he said about the Cavs. “Our boys are really clicking right now and I think we have a really good chance. It’s always a big deal to play Coldwater. I’m not going to have to worry about our guys showing up ready to play, we are all excited.”
On Saturday, the panthers jumped out to a 2-0 first-inning lead against Eagles starter Alex Harter. After striking out Cody Depweg to begin the game, Harter allowed a single to jensen Riley. Riley would later come around to score on a ground out by Austin Adams. Wyatt Felver, who singled in the inning, scored on a wild pitch.
“That’s what’s been happening to us a lot lately, but today we got to do it to someone else,” said Clouse of his club’s first-inning outburst. “They’re a great team as you can obviously see by the way they carry themselves and the way they go after it during the game. We are fortunate to come out on top, and I couldn’t be happier of our boys.”
Harter looked to have everything in control in the fifth as he retired the first two, including his ninth strikeout of the day. Riley then singled to left field and then scored his second run of the day on an Adams triple to the gap in right-center field. Felver singled to score Adams making it a 4-0 lead after five innings.
“He had some movement, a slider or something that made us look stupid at times,” said Clouse about the Eagle starter. “He was a very good pitcher. Austin pitched very well for us too. We are a very good team when he is on the mound.”
Adams was on the mound for Parkway and he made through five innings without getting in any sort of trouble. Parker Leases grounded out to begin the sixth inning, but Jared Neiling doubled off the left field fence for his second hit of the game. Caleb Russell then grounded out before Harter walked and Josh Ostrander singled to load the bases with two outs. Adams struck out Wyatt Young with just three pitches to strand all three runners.
The Panthers only had three base runners in the final two innings of the game. Bailey Rodriguez walked in the fifth and was the only Panther on base in the inning. Depweg doubled to start the seventh, stole third base but was then thrown out at home on a fielder’s choice.
Parkway sent Adams back out to finish the game in the seventh sporting a 4-0 lead, but Adams ran into trouble quickly. John Dager singled to begin the inning but was forced out at second on a Mason Rose fielder’s choice. Anthony Webb’s groundout advanced the runner and Rose moved to third on a wild pitch with two out.
Lease walked to put runners on the corners, and Neiling drove in Rose on an RBI single before Russell singled in Lease, making it 4-2. That spelled the end of the day for Adams, as Clouse turned to Felver to face Harter, who represented the tying run with two out in the seventh. Felver retired his man with just one pitch to close the game.
Parkway 200 020 0- 4 6 1
Liberty-Benton 000 000 2- 2 8 1
Depweg cf 3-0-1-0, Riley 2b 4-2-2-0, A. Adams p-rf 4-1-1-1, Felver ss-p 2-1-2-1, Dennison 3b 3-0-0-1, On rf-2b 3-0-0-0, Abromovich dh 2-0-0-0, x- Rodriguez ph-lf-ss 0-0-0-0, B. Adams 1b 3-0-0-0, Gibson c 3-0-0-0
Webb cf 3-0-1-0, Lease 3b 3-1-0-0, Neiling ss-p 3-0-3-1, Russell 1b 4-0-1-1, x- Kern pr 0-0-0-0, Harter p-ss 3-0-0-0, Ostrander lf 3-0-2-0, Young c 3-0-0-0, Dager 2b 3-0-2-0, x- Gierke pr 0-0-0-0, Rose rf 3-1-0-0