Top-ranked Parkview Baptist took care of business on its march through the Class 3A baseball playoffs on Tuesday, knocking off Jennings 13-2 in a 4 ½-inning game at Parkview.
The Eagles’ regional round win over the 16th-ranked Bulldogs followed their opening round 14-0 win over No. 32 Marksville and set up a quarterfinal game at home against Loranger, an 8-2 winner over Berwick.
Jennings (14-17)gave Parkview and its starting pitcher, LSU commitment Russell Reynolds, a few anxious moments in the early going. The Bulldogs touched Reynolds for two singles in the first inning, then went ahead 2-0 in the second on a walk, a single, a Parkview error and a double by shortstop Kaleb Chaisson.
All this despite the fact that Russell had decent control and was forcing the Bulldogs to hit the ball on the ground. In fact, the visitors hit only two fly balls in five innings.
“He was pitching to contact and they were finding holes,” Parkview coach Darron Mitchell said. “That happens when he puts the ball out there and throws as hard as he does. But the kids played defense behind him and he kept pitching and he did his job.”
Over the last three innings, Reynolds gave up only a single to Justin Marcantel as he retired nine of the last 10 batters he faced.
Jennings’ lead was short-lived as Parkview (27-6) struck for 10 runs in the bottom of the second, combining six hits, a walk, a hit batter and five costly errors as all four infielders and starting pitcher Travis LeGros committed one error apiece.
“Five errors in one inning. That’s as many as we made in the second half of (the) district (season),” Jennings coach Jason Flanagan said. “Our errors weren’t a lack of concentration. It was a result of maybe trying a little too hard. The errors all came at once, and that’s how this game is — they find you when you can’t let them.”
The Eagles sent 12 batters to the plate in their big second inning, with first baseman Colin Rogers collecting the biggest hit, a triple to the base of the wall in straightaway center field.
The rally started when Parkview went to the bunt to get on base, getting two bunt singles and capitalizing on a wild throw to first on another.
“We’re a good bunting team, and we went to that,” Mitchell said. “We have some guys that can hit it, but this wasn’t one of those days, so we’ll try to single you to death, too.”
Aside from Rogers’ triple, all the other Parkview hits were singles. Nine of their runs came from the bottom half of the batting order.
“Those guys do a great job of getting on base, and then (shortstop Brennan) Bozeman comes up in the one-hole and drives them in,” Mitchell said.
Aside from the loss, Flanagan was pleased with the experience for his players.
“When anyone plays a team like Parkview, you know how good they are, and your kids want to make every play,” he said.
“This is a great environment for high school baseball, and their whole staff shows nothing but class.”
Mitchell feels that his team is in good shape going into the matchup with Loranger.
“We have our pitching lined up, and we’ve been playing well. Loranger has also been playing well, so hopefully we’ll have a fun ball game,” he said.
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