Parkview Baptist School and Zachary High were looking for a few more timely hits than they got Saturday afternoon.
By game’s end it was Zachary starting pitcher Evan Tidwell who had made the difference as the Broncos held on for a 4-3 nondistrict baseball win at Parkview Baptist.
Parkview (9-11) pounded out 10 hits and put the leadoff runner on base in five of the six innings that Tidwell, a Northwestern State signee, pitched. All Tidwell (4-1) did was keep throwing strikes as he kept working out of jams.
“(Tidwell) did a great job keeping us in the game and keeping the tempo going,” said Zachary coach Jesse Cassard, whose team improved to 13-7.
“He threw 75 percent strikes, and any time you do that you’re going to have a chance to win the game. It’s the reason we won the game.”
Tidwell threw 97 pitches, including 67 for strikes, and had no walks in six innings. He tired in the sixth, when Parkview opened with three consecutive hits to produce a pair of runs.
But, with Zachary holding a 4-3 lead, Tidwell picked off Parkview’s Spencer Smith at first. He then retired two of the next three batters to get out of the inning.
Evan Wax came on to start the seventh and set down the top of the Parkview lineup in order to record the save.
“The trend this year is we’re not getting the big hits,” Parkview coach Darron Mitchell said. “We left runners in scoring position the first five innings. If we get one of those driven in, we have a shot to win the ballgame.”
Parkview starting pitcher Evan Kissinger gave up three runs in four innings and took the loss. Zachary got to Kissinger for a pair of runs in the top of the first with the big blow coming on Andre Weber’s two-RBI single.
The damage might have been less, but a mental error helped put two Broncos in scoring position. With runners at first and second, Kissinger appeared to have time to throw out the lead runner at third after fielding Stephen Babin’s comebacker.
Kissinger hesitated before throwing to first to get Babin. Weber followed with a single through the right side that brought both runners home.
Zachary pushed its lead to 3-0 in the third when Gabe Hannum led off with a single off the glove of Parkview third baseman Zack Hamilton. A walk and a sacrifice put Hannum on third, and he scored when Weber hit into a double play.
Weber scored what proved to be the winning run in Zachary’s half of the sixth. A pair of walks off Parkview reliever Adam Tarver had runners at first and second with one out. Weber scored on Mason Foote’s double to left before Tarver got the next two batters to end the threat.
“Offensively I was a little disappointed,” Cassard said. “We should have scored more runs if we execute and have some unselfish at bats, but we’re going to get that going.”
Parkview got on the scoreboard in the fourth after Cody Daigle led off with a single and stole second. Daigle took third on Chris Dupont’s groundout and scored on Josh Green’s single to left.
In the sixth, Hamilton led off with a single, and Daigle’s double to right-center scored courtesy runner Thomas Sparrow. Smith’s swinging bunt was fielded by Broncos catcher Evan Pace. Smith beat Pace’s throw, which sailed high and up the right field line allowing Daigle to come home with Parkview’s third run. It wasn’t enough as Tidwell settled down to pitch his way out of the inning.
“You have to tip your hat to Zachary,” Mitchell said. “They made good pitches, and they made them when they had to. It was a good high school baseball game.”
Copyright © 2015, Capital City Press LLC • 7290 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70810 • All Rights Reserved