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Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007

Painter guides Parkway at the plate and on mound

By Gary R. Rasberry

Parkway's Jensen Painter threw a no-hitter for the Panthers and then drove home. . .

ROCKFORD - It was just a matter of getting one run on Tuesday as Parkway's Jensen Painter and Versailles' Jordan Liette engaged in a pitcher's duel.
Painter took matters into his own hands, driving in the only run of the game in the bottom of the fifth, then closed things in style in picking up a no-hitter in the Panthers' 1-0 win over the Tigers at Don Black Field.
Parkway improves to 5-1 in the Midwest Athletic Conference and 11-8 overall while the Tigers drop to 7-9 on the campaign and 2-3 in the MAC with the hardluck loss.
Painter dominated in his 71-pitch - 54 for strikes - performance. Painter walked only two batters - one each in the fifth and sixth innings - but was not in much danger of the Tigers scoring.
"I can't give enough (credit) to the defense," said Painter, whose defense did not commit an error. "They made the plays."
One player whose defense came up truly big is rightfielder Trevor Krogman, who made a couple of diving catches to prevent hits, including one that may have been the game-breaker.
In the top of the fifth, Painter finally allowed his first baserunner when Patrick Mescher led off with a walk. Jon Richard tried to bunt Mescher over, but Painter made a great throw to Jeremy Heiser, who forced out pinch-runner Chadd Schlater at second base.
Nick Eilerman stepped up to the plate and lofted a short fly to right. Krogman dove and came up with the ball, but no one saw the umpire's call. Richard took off and headed to third. Krogman made the perfect throw to Levon Archer to get Richard. That still left confusion over Krogman's catch. After a brief meeting of the umpires, the ruling was a catch. Meanwhile, Archer ran over to first base and touched the bag just in case, finishing up the unusual 9-5 double play.
"I can't thank him enough," said Painter of Krogman, who added a diving catch in the seventh for the second out of the inning. "I'll have to buy him a couple of dinners before tournament."
In the bottom of the fifth, Krogman drew his second walk from Liette with two out, then stole second. Painter followed with a single to right, allowing the a dashing Krogman to slide home safely for the only run of the game. Painter had two of the Panthers' four hits in the contest.
Painter allowed a walk in the sixth before striking out Eric Grilliot to complete the sixth, then in the seventh, Jon Murphy grounded back to the mound for the first out and Jeremy Shardo flew to Krogman for the second before Mescher grounded to Painter, who went to first himself to get the final out.
"I just wanted to take it myself, just to make sure," said Painter with a laugh.
The loss spoiled a quality day for Liette, who struck out five and allowed four hits.
"I just can't say enough about both pitchers," said Stachler. "Jordan threw a heckuva ballgame, threw strikes and went right after hitters.
"And what can you say about Jensen? He come out and I asked how he felt and he said he felt great. He looked real smooth on the mound. What was real impressive was how many first-pitch strikes he threw (14). He challenged the hitters."
"We didn't make them work at all," said Versailles coach Ted Blakley. "Their rightfielder and pitcher did all the work tonight. (Krogman) made a couple of decent plays. ... We've got to be better."
Parkway hosts New Knoxville today in a MAC makeup game.
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