Trojans outlast Central Catholic
It looked as if the lights at the baseball field at Parkland High School would have to be turned on.
The afternoon baseball game between Parkland and Central Catholic had gone to the ninth inning tied at zero, and with the clock pushing past 7 p.m., there was still no end in sight.
Both teams’ starting pitchers were throwing gems. The Vikings had more of the scoring opportunities, but Michael Jenkins and Braeden Duff got outs when they needed to, and kept their team in it.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Trojans finally got to Nate Leasawich for an unearned run. Senior Tyler Bruno came home after a Central throwing error to lift Parkland to a 1-0 EPC Skyline Division win.
The Trojans (11-5 overall, 10-2 EPC) struggled to find hits, but still pulled out a much needed victory ahead of a four-game week, featuring another matchup against the Vikings.
“We didn’t want to play a long game,” said head coach Kurt Weber. “The longer the game went, the bigger an issue it became for us. I knew I wouldn’t have Mike [Jenkins] for the rest of the week, but I couldn’t have Braeden [Duff] out there throwing a lot of pitches either. It was nice to finally win it when we did.”
Duff came on in relief in the top of the eighth and gave up two hits and one walk in two scoreless innings for the win. Jenkins had a strong start with seven shutout innings. He allowed seven hits, walking none and struck out 10.
Bruno helped out his pitchers by working a one-out walk in the bottom of the ninth. Kyle Friebolin followed with a single to left field.
The next batter, Matt Mellinger, hit a ground ball that Central Catholic attempted to turn into a game-extending double play.
The Vikings retired the runner heading into second, but threw the ball away at first base trying to finish the double play, allowing Bruno to score.
It was a tough way to lose for Leasawich, who gave up only three hits, and struck out two in 8 and 2/3 innings. But someone had to win in this pitcher’s duel.
“You start scuffling a little bit, and then you start thinking about it a little too much,” said Weber. “But you’ve got to give their guy credit. He threw strikes, battled his way through some jams early in the game. He did a hell of a job. All three pitchers pitched well.”
Parkland has games against Northampton, Emmaus and Central Catholic to end the week.
Cullan Wadsworth had two of the Trojans three hits, finishing 2-4 on the afternoon.