COLUMBIA – Team Parker picked up a pair of dominating wins over Team Bartlett on Thursday at Columbia High School.
In the first game, Team Parker’s offense put up 14 hits in its 14-3 win.
While Team Parker’s lineup found strength, at the same time, Team Bartlett’s pitching staff struggled. The first four runs, Team Parker scored, were from four wild pitches and a passed ball.
After Team Bartlett scored a run in the third inning, Team Parker put together a seven-run frame in the fourth inning with four RBI singles helping extend the lead to 14-1.
Team Bartlett managed to add two runs; however, the difference was Team Parker’s pitching staff. Pitchers TJ Ryals (Pearl River CC), Luke Smith (Mississippi Delta CC) and Bryce Newman (Lawson State) combined to hold Team Bartlett to five hits and struck out seven batters.
For Team Bartlett (0-3), in 2.2 innings pitched starting pitcher Wyatt Blaylock (Jones CC) allowed six runs off five hits while reliever Joshua Taylor (Meridian CC) allowed eight runs off eight hits while walking three batters in 1.1 innings pitched. According to Team Parker’s head coach, Jonathan Parker, making sure his hitters stayed patient at the plate was a key part of his team’s success.
“When you are not seeing a lot of pitches over the strike zone,” Parker said. “You kind of start jumping at pitches you aren’t supposed to because you are hungry to hit. Our guys did a really good job of waiting for their, waiting for the right times and opportunity. They know their roles. If They walk on four pitches, then that’s a good job because it helps our team. I feel like when the ball was over the strike zone, I think we really dominated them.”
In the batter’s box for Team Parker, Carson Chapman (MDCC) finished 2-for-3, Donovan Shows (Delta State) finished 2-for-3 while Brady Tynes (Southwest CC) went 2-for-3.
At the start of the second game, Team Parker continued to have its offensive momentum and opened with a 6-0 lead.
However, in the bottom of the fourth inning, Team Bartlett score eight runs. In the inning, Team Parker committed two errors and gave up two walks. Jonathan Harvard (Uncommitted) and Logan White (MDCC) capitalized with RBI singles.
Despite losing the lead, Team Parker rallied back as Team Bartlett continued to struggle on the mound. In the fourth inning, relief pitcher Ty Moore (Culver-Stockton) walked in two runs and gave up an RBI single to Dalton Cummin (PRCC) to retake the lead 9-8. Kade Turnage (East Central CC) added an insurance run with an RBI single to secure the 10-8 win.
In spite of the eight-run inning, Team Parker’s pitching staff still held Team Bartlett to six hits and recorded nine strikeouts.
In the batter’s box, Team Bartlett’s Breck Jones (Mississippi Gulf Coast CC) led the offense after finishing 1-for-3 with three RBI, while Team Parker’s Chapman reached base all three times after hitting an RBI single, was walked and hit by a pitch.
“I think we got a little sluggish out there (in the fourth inning),” Parker said. “We came back and answered, and that’s huge. When you give up an eight-spot, that’s hard to come back from, but I never saw any doubt. I saw all confidence with them. I was proud of my guys.”