SULPHUR — The groundskeepers at McMurry Park are going to have to check the outfield walls for dents.
Parkview Baptist banged the walls with a barrage of extra-base hits to return to the top of Class 3A baseball.
The fifth-seeded Eagles beat second-seeded E.D. White 9-5 Saturday to win the Class 3A state baseball title, the dominant program’s 12th state title and first since 2009.
“For us seniors, we were the first group that has come through and hasn’t won one, so that was some extra motivation for us,” starting pitcher Zack Hamilton said.
Behind Outstanding Player Hezekiah Randolph’s 4-for-4 performance, Parkview (20-17) led E.D. White (28-5) by seven runs after the second inning.
The championship was the culmination of a late-season charge for Parkview (20-17), which scheduled tough teams for its predistrict schedule. The Eagles’ record didn’t top .500 until the quarterfinals of the playoffs.
“We definitely played with a chip on our shoulders this postseason,” Randolph said. “Nobody believed we should have been here, nobody believed we could have done it, nobody believed we could win it besides us.
“It just brought us closer together as a brotherhood.”
The championship was the first for Parkview under coach Darron Mitchell, who won five as an assistant under M.L. Woodruff.
“Following a legend is not easy, but I wanted to try to keep the program in good hands, not for me but for Parkview, keep working with these kids, and it worked out today,” Mitchell said.
It was the first time in nearly a month that E.D. White gave up a run — the Cardinals defense had held six opponents scoreless and had not been scored on since April 16.
“We knew we needed to jump on them early and show them that we can score,” Mitchell said.
Randolph led the hot-swinging Eagles attack with two triples, two RBIs and three runs.
Parkview built a 9-0 lead on its 12 hits, which was enough of a cushion to survive a five-run E.D. White rally in the last two innings.
“They did an excellent job of mixing the pitches. We just did an excellent job of not guessing and just reacting to pitchers,” Randolph said.
Parkview had five extra-base hits, four of those in the first two innings as it built a 7-0 lead.
Leadoff batter Brennan Bozeman and Randolph hit singles in the first inning, followed by back-to-back RBI doubles to right field by Cody Daigle and Hayden Nickens to put the Eagles ahead 4-0 after the first inning.
Peter Currier, batting ninth, led off the second with a double to the center-field wall and Parkview was off and running again.
Randolph followed with a triple off the left-field wall.
“Payton (Coddou) pitched without his curveball,” E.D. White coach Shane Trosclair said. “He couldn’t find it, he left his fastball up and they took advantage of it.”
Nevertheless, Trosclair elected to leave him in the game until the fourth inning.
“He is our guy. I know he can pitch. He didn’t have it the first two innings, but he has a lot of heart,” Trosclair said.
Hamilton (11-2) lasted the entire game, striking out three. He gave up three hits in the first five innings, before E.D. White got to him for five hits in the last two innings.
“All my pitches were working for me, all three of them. I was able to hit all my spots,” Hamilton said.
“A little later in the game, I was a little bit tired, and I left some pitches up that they took advantage of, but because of that run support in the first couple innings, it didn’t do too much harm.”
Copyright © 2016, Capital City Press LLC • 7290 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70810 • All Rights Reserved