Friday, June 13th, 2014
Mikesell nearly perfect at Parkway
By Gary R. Rasberry
ROCKFORD - As well as Hayden Abromavich pitched for Parkway on Thursday night, Ryan Mikesell was just a little bit better.
In fact, he was nearly perfect.
The St. Henry pitcher retired the first 19 batters in a row before the Panthers got a single in the seventh inning. Mikesell got the final two outs to finish with a 1-0 win in Mercer County ACME baseball action at Don Black Field in Rockford.
The Redskins move to 5-0 on the summer season as Parkway suffers its first loss in five games.
Mikesell, who pitched five innings on Monday at Marion Local, was on his game from the first pitch he threw, striking out eight of the first nine batters he faced.
"I had a pretty good warmup," Mikesell said. "I just got into a groove out there and kept throwing strikes."
Abromavich, however, was equal to the task, facing the minimum nine batters through the first three innings, getting a line out double play off the bat of Jason Evers to erase Justin Ahlers' base hit.
The lone run of the game came in the fourth. D.J. Kunkler led off with a single and then went to second on a wild pitch. Andrew Lundvall grounded back to the mound, where Abromavich started a rundown to get Kunkler while Lundvall went to second. After Lundvall stole third, Mikesell lofted a deep fly to center. Bailey Rodriguez made the catch and came up firing home as Lundvall tagged up. The throw to Brandon Gibson was on time, but Lundvall just beat the tag to make it 1-0.
After the run, Abromavich allowed just three more hits, but the Panther defense held tough to keep St. Henry from adding more runs.
"Hayden pitched well enough to win," Parkway coach Taylor Bates said. "We've just got to hit the ball and score some runs."
"We got a few guys on, but he mixed it up," St. Henry coach Brent Koesters said of Abromavich, who did not walk anyone and struck out three in the five-hit effort. "He threw the breaking ball well. Even the run we got was a bang-bang play at the plate. We didn't have many chances."
Mikesell did not miss a beat as the game moved quickly along. Through six innings, no Panthers reached base as Mikesell had 13 strikeouts with just five of the outs coming on balls put into play.
The bottom of the seventh started with Mikesell striking out Tanner Bates. Jensen Riley stepped in and hit a hard shot that deflected off Mikesell's glove and rolled toward second base. Derek Lange came up throwing, but the speedy Riley was safe with the infield single. Mikesell quickly struck out Abromavich for the second out - Mikesell's 15th strikeout of the game - and with Gibson at the plate, St. Henry catcher Austin Clune threw out Riley trying to steal second to end the game.
"It's frustrating," Mikesell said. "It would have been nice to get a perfect game or no-hitter, but we got the win. That's all that matters."
"I don't know what to say. It was just dominant," Koesters said. "Just impressive."
"Fifteen (strikeouts) is unacceptable," coach Bates said. "(Mikesell) is a great pitcher, but there's no excuse for 15 Ks."
Kunkler had two of the five St. Henry hits on the game.
The two teams will square off again tonight, this time playing at the Wally Post Athletic Complex in St. Henry with a 6:30 p.m. first pitch.