Monday, May 10th, 2010
Parkway and Marion Local advance
Division IV Baseball Sectional Tournament at Minster
By Randy Bruns
Fort Recovery's Hayden Pottkotter, bottom, slides under the tag from Parkway's C. . .
MINSTER - On a cold and blustery day, a pair of Mercer County teams braved the conditions at Hanover Park to open the sectional tournament with victories.
In the opener, the Parkway Panthers broke open a tight game with a monster third inning and cruised to a 13-3 win over the Fort Recovery Indians in six innings. In game two, the Marion Local Flyers recovered from a rocky start and used timely hitting and lights-out pitching to knock off the New Bremen Cardinals by a score of 8-3.
The two winners now face the top seeds - both from Auglaize County - in Wednesday's sectional finals. In the 4:15 p.m. opener, Parkway (11-11) will take on number-one seeded New Knoxville (15-6), while Marion Local (12-12) will face second-seeded Minster (16-7) in the nightcap that will begin no earlier than 6:45 p.m.
Fort Recovery finished up tournament play with a 1-17 record while New Bremen bowed out with a 2-14 mark.
Parkway 13, Fort Recovery 3
The scoreboard at the old Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati used to caution that 'Walks Will Haunt' when opposing pitchers put Reds' batters on base with free passes.
That warning would have come in handy for the Indians on Saturday.
Fort Recovery hurlers gave up nine walks on the day and six of them ended up scoring, providing Parkway with plenty of offense to move on in tournament play. In fact, the first three bases on balls given up by the Indians led to runs, as the Panthers jumped out to a 4-0 lead after two innings of play.
The Indians came right back in the top of the third, though, and drew to within one after Jason Pottkotter, Cody Fiely and Nathan Fortkamp each plated runs with hits.
The comeback was short-lived, however, as the Panthers answered convincingly in the bottom of the third.
Parkway starting pitcher Jared Bourelle led off with a walk and quickly scored on Dylan Baker's double, and the onslaught was just getting started. The Panthers batted around and Bourelle put on the finishing touches with a bloop single that scored the fifth and sixth runs of the frame.
The end result was a 10-3 Parkway advantage and Bourelle made sure the lead stayed safe. The senior righty struck out six Indians while not allowing a hit over the final three innings and he came through on offense as well by belting a two-run home run in the fifth.
The game ended abruptly in the bottom of the sixth after two more walks loaded the bases for the Panthers and Grant Ripley's ensuing single triggered the run rule.
Bourelle went the distance for Parkway, surrendering just six hits and punching out 10 Indians.
"It's a real key at tournament time to get some runs and put the pressure on the other team," said Parkway coach Mike Schumm. "Fort Recovery came out and swung the bats well, but Jared settled down and started to get command of his curveball which he didn't have in the first couple of innings."
Marion Local 8, New Bremen 3
The Flyers could not have gotten off to a worse start in this one, but the way they finished allowed them to advance in the tournament.
Marion Local pitcher Monte Imwalle and catcher Lee Pierron endured a nightmare first inning, but each bounced back nicely to help the Flyers eliminate the Cardinals.
Imwalle walked four of the first five Cardinals that came to the plate to start the game and Pierron allowed four passed balls, three of which scored Cardinal runs. The good news for the Flyers was that they were only down 3-0 and they had plenty of time to come back, and in the bottom of the second they made their move.
Jarren Griesdorn and Ryan Mescher led off with hits and Jared Prenger drove them home with a single. Travis Winner then followed with an RBI double and the score was knotted at three-apiece.
Marion moved out in front in the fourth, as Pierron atoned for his earlier miscues on the defensive end. Greg Wolters first plated Mescher with a single, then Pierron stepped to the dish and smacked a single that scored Prenger and Wolters.
Meanwhile, Imwalle was masterful on the mound after his inauspicious beginning. The senior allowed just two hits and struck out 11 in his six innings of work before tiring in the seventh. Fellow senior Travis Winner came on in relief and got the final three outs on strikeouts to preserve the win.
The Flyers got the bulk of their offensive production out of the back end of their lineup, as Prenger, Winner, Wolters and Pierron combined to go 5-for-10 with seven RBI.
"We've been hitting for the past two or three weeks now," said Marion coach Bryan Gray. "It seems like we've been down all year and battling back all year. Our catcher was having some trouble seeing the ball early on but he figured it out and he recovered nicely. I told Monte to just forget about the way things started, and after that 35-pitch first inning he really turned it on."