They were singular moments in the first two innings of Friday’s game that had a collective impact on Parkview Baptist’s Class 3A state baseball bidistrict playoff victory.
The ability to get in a rundown just long enough to allow a teammate to score. A soft single that kicked off the back of the infield dirt and into left field to drive in a run.
A backhanded play near the middle of the infield that turned into an inning-ending double play and saved a run.
Those were among the highlights turned in by No. 5 Parkview Baptist, which also relied on a complete-game, two-hitter from Adam Tarver in a 3-1 victory Friday over No. 28 Albany.
“It’s the little things that we don’t do and they do,” Albany coach David Pittman said.
Parkview’s triumph, the 11th in its last 13 games, sends the Eagles (20-12) into Tuesday’s home regional against No. 12 St. Louis at 6 p.m.
“You just have to find a way to score,” Parkview coach Darron Mitchell said. “You get them anyway you can.”
Parkview did just enough of that in the infancy stages, getting five of its eight hits over the first two innings, before turning to Tarver and their defense to repel Albany’s determined effort.
Pryce Fletcher led off the first with a single and stole second base during Sam O’Brien’s at-bat. O’Brien, who singled three times in four trips, singled up the middle and took a wide turn at first.
When first baseman Dylan Cunningham cut off the throw from center field O’Brien stepped in the direction of second base to draw Cunningham’s attention. That enabled Fletcher to take off from third and score the game’s first run.
The Eagles made it 3-0 in the second, taking advantage of fielding error to eventually score on a wild pitch and ninth-place hitter Darius Jones got enough of Dirk Peloquin’s 3-2 pitch over a drawn-in infield to score Logan Toups who walked.
Albany (13-17) nearly answered in the top of the third with two runners on and one out courtesy of an error and a walk.
Dylan Hoyt sent a grounder toward the second base bag that appeared to be headed for a single until Toups ranged to his right to backhand the ball. He made the flip to O’Brien who went on to complete a double play.
“I didn’t have any of my stuff but I competed and my defense played good behind me,” Tarver said. “We played good defensively as a team I thought.”
With Peloquin (3-6) shutting out PBS’ over the last four innings, Tarver pitched around two errors and four walks to carry a no-hitter into the sixth.
Cunningham’s lead-off solo homer ended the bid for a no-hitter and shutout and Ethan Olah added another single.
Tarver (5-3) came back from absorbing a line-drive to his lower body in the same inning to retire the last four batters he faced. He struck out seven and threw 68 of 111 pitches for strikes.
“You can’t win without pitching and defense,” Mitchell said. “We’ll take what we got tonight and move on to the next round.”