SULPHUR — The slogan on the back of Parkview Baptist’s T-shirts said it all: “Our goal is ending yours.” Fifth-seeded PBS made those words a reality again Friday at McMurry Park.
The Eagles pounded 15 hits and got one-hit pitching from starter Gage Pickett in an 11-0 victory over top-seeded North DeSoto in a Class 3A semifinal that opened the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s State Baseball Tournament for Classes 4A, 3A, B and C.
Parkview scored five runs in the third inning to take control before a five-hour rain/lightning delay and added five more in the seventh. PBS meets the Brusly-E.D. White winner in the 3A final set for 1 p.m. Saturday.
“It’s nice when you score five,” PBS coach Darron Mitchell said. “We hit the baseball, got a couple of passed balls we scored on and were aggressive on the bases. And Gage threw lights out.”
Blake Ballard was 3-for-4 at the plate to pace PBS (19-17), which advances to the title game for the first time since 2011. Hezekiah Randolph was 2-for-2 with two doubles, Brennan Bozeman was 2-for-3 and Cody Daigle finished 2-for-4.
Hunter Speights (double in the third) and Alex Boone (single in the seventh) had the only hits for NDHS.
“We didn’t score any today, and when you don’t score you don’t have a chance to win,” North DeSoto coach Bo Odom said. “I give all the credit to Parkview Baptist. They were well prepared. The guy on the mound (Pickett) did a good job keeping us off balance.
“He pounded the strike zone and we didn’t do anything to counteract that. But I’m just proud of these guys. (North DeSoto was) the No. 1 seed and had the target on their back the whole year. We didn’t get that two-out hit like we normally have.”
North DeSoto (28-5), the defending 3A champion, had its best chance to score in the bottom of the third just as the rain delay came. Carson Rogers walked with one out and went to third on a double by Hunter Speights. But Speights was caught in a rundown. Griffins leadoff hitter Chip Eubanks had a 3-2 count when the umpires ordered the teams off the field.
When the game resumed, Pickett walked Eubanks, but struck out Austin Pinnick on a called third strike to end the inning.
Pickett (5-3-1) struck out seven and walked three before leaving the game with one out in the seventh. Starter Lane Thurman (7-1) took the loss.
“I think I was able to locate all three of my pitches for strikes,” Pickett said. “I was pretty confident in my changeup after the game started back. I didn’t throw it early, but I was able to throw it late and get outs.”
Parkview scored the game’s first runs, turning four hits and an error into five runs in the top of the third.
Ballard led off the third with a double, was sacrificed to third by Peter Currier and scored on a passed ball. Bozeman singled and went to second on a wild pitch by North DeSoto.
Chris Dupont’s bunt single moved Bozeman to third before Randolph walked to load the bases. Bozeman scored on another passed ball.
Zack Hamilton then walked to load the bases again. Destin Brossette tried to make a diving catch on Daigle’s liner to right that hit the turf for a hit. The ball bounced past Brossette and three runs scored.
Randolph doubled and scored in the fifth. He also doubled in the seventh to key the second five-run inning for the Eagles.
Copyright © 2014, Capital City Press LLC • 7290 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70810 • All Rights Reserved