“I thought we’d be a little more productive at the plate. But about the second or third inning you could tell it was going to be a low-scoring game.” Randy sandifer, Walker baseball coach
Senior right-hander Gage Pickett flirted with a no-hitter Tuesday night as Parkview Baptist School’s pitching took center stage in a 3-0 win over Walker High.
Pickett (1-2) pitched to the minimum number of batters through six innings while allowing just one walk. Two Wildcats reached base in the seventh before Evan Kissinger came on to shut the door and pick up the save in a game at Parkview.
“(Pickett) had three pitches for strikes, and that’s the key,” said Parkview coach Darron Mitchell, whose team improved to 7-8. “Just throw the ball over the plate, mix them up, get them off speed. If you pound the strike zone, you always give yourself a chance. It was nice to see that.”
In 6.1 innings, Pickett struck out six, while allowing two walks and one single. He threw 95 pitches, 57 for strikes.
Parkview scored single runs in the first, third and fourth innings, and Walker (7-5) never had a runner reach second base until the seventh.
Walker’s Kyle Nevels drew a walk to lead off the third but was erased when Nick Heyse grounded into a double play. In the fourth, Tyler Lockhart hit a liner to the gap in left, but left-fielder Hezekiah Randolph’s diving catch kept him off base.
Pickett walked Dalton Yucesoye with one out in the seventh, and Lockhart then worked the count full before singling to right. Kissinger got Landon Leblanc to fly out to center and struck out Josh Andrews to end the game.
“We might have lifted him a little earlier to get Kissinger a little more work, but (Pickett) did have a no-hitter and his pitch count was still low,” Mitchell said.
All three of Parkview’s runs were scored by batters who walked. Cody Daigle and Hayden Nickens each had RBIs, while the third run scored on an error.
“We’ve been playing well, and I thought we’d compete,” Walker coach Randy Sandifer said. “For the most part I think we did. We walked a couple of guys and let them get hits behind the walks, and our errors came behind their hits.”
Parkview got on the scoreboard in the first inning on Nickens’ RBI infield single. Andrew Herbert drew a one-out walk and took second on Zack Hamilton’s single to left.
Daigle followed with a grounder that shortstop Heyse failed to handle, leaving the bases loaded. Nickens then beat Heyse’s throw on a slow roller allowing Herbert to score from third.
Randolph walked with one out in the third inning and went to third on Hamilton’s single to left-center. Daigle followed with a sacrifice to give PBS a 2-0 lead.
Blake Ballard’s one-out walk in the fourth led to the third Parkview run. Ballard reached second on Peter Currier’s single and got to third on Brennan Bozeman’s fielder’s choice. Bozeman stole second, but catcher Yucesoye’s throw sailed over second base into center, allowing Ballard to score.
“I thought we’d be a little more productive at the plate,” said Sandifer, whose team had scored 12 runs in each of its past two games. “But about the second or third inning, you could tell it was going to be a low-scoring game. To me, it was just a good high school baseball game.”