Last week was a rough one for the Parklane Pioneers after dropping three games against Jackson Prep to open up the 2021 conference slate. On Tuesday, however, the Pioneers got back to playing their brand of baseball, getting a hard-fought, come-from-behind 6-3 home win over Presbyterian Christian School.
“We grinded that one out! That is a solid team win and I felt like everyone was on board with it,” an ecstatic Parklane head coach Robert Young said. “We just rocked and rolled. That was a big win for us because we got swept last week and we responded. That response means more than anything.”
The Pioneers (12-5, 1-3) went with Conner Wilson on the mound and the senior got to work immediately, retiring three of the first four batters he faced, picking up a strikeout in the process.
“I honestly didn’t think that I had my best stuff (tonight),” he said. “My defense played excellent. No errors on the entire night in seven innings and that is how you win ball games. If ever I am not having my best stuff, they pick me up.”
He also made a statement early with the bat, helping his own cause in the first with a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Jake Reeves.
He followed that up during his next at bat in the bottom of the third, providing another run on a single to right, scoring Sam Crowe.
“You always love to help your cause,” he said. “I am out there to pitch but I like to help my cause when I can, too.”
The Bobcats answered back in the fifth with a rally. With two outs, PCS got two singles and a hit batsman, loading the bases.
Another single plated a pair of runs before a passed ball during the following at bat gave the visitors their first lead of the contest at 3-2.
Bradley Whitaker took over pitching duties in the sixth, and like Wilson, got off to a strong start getting three consecutive batters out after allowing a baserunner.
Between innings, coach Young pulled his players to the side and tried to fire them up.
“I just told them to calm down,” he said. “We have some inexperienced guys and they get wound up and they just need to slow the game down. Sometimes I think that they try to over-think it and I just told them to take it pitch by pitch and pass the torch and they did that.”
That message was heard loud and clear. A rejuvenated Pioneer bunch quickly got to work as Wilson led off the inning, taking advantage of a PCS error to not only get on base but advance to second.
Next up was Jacob Gazzo, who laid down a slow-rolling bunt just in front of the Bobcat third baseman and reached via a throwing error by the fielder, allowing Wilson to score, tying the game at 3.
“Coach Young signaled to get the bunt down and I just knew that I had to do it for the team,” he said. “I got it down and we got that run in. That is what we were planning to do and I was just excited to do that for my team.”
Three batters later, the Pioneers jumped ahead once again following an RBI single by Christian Ming, allowing Gazzo to score.
Jake Spring reached on an error, allowing pinch runner Bruner Rushing to score followed by a sacrifice fly by Jesse Smith to close out the scoring for Parklane and put the hosts ahead 6-3.
In the seventh, Whitaker retired the side in order to preserve the win.
Wilson pitched five innings, giving up seven hits, three runs and three walks while striking out seven. Whitaker fanned two batters in his two innings of work.
Offensively, Wilson went 1-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored.
A notable absence at the game was Parklane assistant coach Sam Richard. He and his wife Courtney welcomed a new addition as daughter Lynleigh Jane Richard was born Tuesday.