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Wednesday, April 18th, 2007

Parkway gets peak performance in downing St. Henry

By Mark Ruschau
ST. HENRY - The Parkway Panther baseball team picked the most opportune time to play its best game of the season Tuesday night as they scored early and often and rode the strong pitching of Jensen Painter to down the St. Henry Redskins, 9-2, in Midwest Athletic Conference action at the Wally Post Athletic Complex.
Parkway, winners of two straight, are now 6-5 overall and 1-1 in conference play while St. Henry, losers of two in a row, falls to 9-2 on the season and 1-1 in the MAC.
Eight different Panthers had at least one hit in a 13-hit attack that included five extra-base hits. Parkway also executed the little things offensively as they had three sacrifice bunts, a sacrifice fly and four stolen bases. Jeremy Heiser and Derik Snyder led the offense with three hits each.
"We played a complete game tonight for the first time this year," said Parkway coach Eric Stachler. "We were able to get people on base, we were able to steal bases and we were also able to sacrifice runners over.
"I cannot say enough about how we played today," continued Stachler. "We came ready to play and we came out and executed well."
Stachler wasn't the only one who was impressed as St. Henry skipper John Dorner agreed with glowing compliment.
"Parkway impressed me with the way they played today," said Dorner. "They swung the bats aggressively and they came into the game with a plan and they executed it very well.
"The first four batters of the game set the tone of the game, they really took the wind out of our sails," continued Dorner. "Jon Clune did not have his usual stuff tonight but he battled all night long and he kept us within three runs until the seventh. The real key to the game was that Parkway was able to hit the ball consistently tonight and we were not."
The Panthers did not wait to get on the scoreboard as lead-off batter Jeremy Heiser took Clune's first pitch of the game over the fence in straight-away centerfield for a home run.
Parkway was not done, as Trevor Krogman followed with a double and Snyder a bloop single, with Krogman taking third. Painter then plated the second run of the inning with a single.
Parkway added to its lead with single runs, with two outs in the second and third. In the second, Heiser singled, stole second, went to third on a balk before scoring on a throwing error. In the third, with one out, Drew Luginbill singled, was sacrificed to second by Jordan Henkle and scored on a single by Levon Archer.
St. Henry cut the deficit in half scoring a pair of two-out runs in the bottom of the third. With one out, Nick Rindler singled and was sacrificed to second by Mike Gast before trotting home on a two-run homer to leftfield by Kyle Bruggeman.
The Panthers got one of the runs back in the fourth. Heiser led off with a single and was forced by Krogman. Krogman moved to third on a double by Snyder and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Painter.
The home run by Bruggeman proved to be the extent of the St. Henry offense on the night as Painter settled down, allowing the Redskins just four baserunners over the final four innings. On the night, Painter allowed just four hits and walked three batters. Painter got some great help from his defense as they did not commit an error and turned a double play.
"Jensen wanted the ball tonight and he pitched well," said Stachler. "He made one mistake, he got a fastball up to Bruggeman and he did what good hitters do. Other than that, he mixed his pitches well and he threw strikes. He did a great job of going after hitters."
Parkway is back in action Thursday traveling to Bath while St. Henry is also on the field Thursday playing host to Fort Recovery in another league contest.
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