A cold north wind didn’t cool off the Parkview Baptist bats Thursday afternoon.
The Eagles bunched together nine runs in the second and third innings to jump-start a 9-3 win over Benton in a South Louisiana Baseball Shootout game at Parkview.
The Eagles sent 11 batters to the plate in the second inning, building a 5-0 lead before adding four more in the third to effectively put the game away.
“It was a good quality win for us. We were good in all three phases of the game,” Parkview coach Darron Wilson said.
As evidence of Wilson’s evaluation, Parkview (6-7) pounded out 10 hits, committed no errors, and got a combined five-hitter from pitchers Andrew Lemoine and Wes Foreman.
After a series of base-running mistakes and missed opportunities kept both teams off the scoreboard in the first inning, Parkview’s Darius Jones legged out a one-out hustle double in the second, sliding around the attempted tag by second baseman Garrett Hable at second base. Jones came home on a single by Jared Kilcrease, and the scoring parade was on.
“Darius is capable of that,” Mitchell said. “He’s a good athlete and he can do good things for us. He starts us off, and hitting is contagious. We just picked it up from there.”
Four Eagles collected RBIs in the second inning, with the big hit a two-run single by Pryce Fletcher. A sparkling catch by Benton first baseman Peyton Long prevented another run, and Parkview loaded the bases again before Benton starter Tanner Craft got Jones to pop up to second on his second at-bat of the inning.
Parkview padded the lead in the fourth on back-to-back home runs to nearly the same spot in left field. Second baseman Logan Toups hit the first to left field with O’Brien aboard to push the lead to 8-0, and Fletcher followed with a blast a few feet to the right for his second hit and third RBI of the game.
“I knew it was out,” Fletcher said. “I felt like I got it all. I feel like everything is starting to come together, not just for me but for the whole team.”
The temperature dropped 15 degrees during the game, and the wind was officially blowing at 14 mph, but gusts were obviously much stronger. That wind turned fly balls into adventures for outfielders trying to gauge the flight of the ball.
“The wind was terrible,” Fletcher said. “There was one that almost got away from me, but I stayed on it.”
Benton coach James Stephens said he’s looking for more consistency from his team. The Tigers had some solid defensive plays and came back to chase Parkview starter Andrew Lemoine with three runs in the fourth inning, but also committed five errors and failed to make big plays at crucial times.
“When you screw up against a team like Parkview Baptist, they make you pay for it,” Stephens said. “They’re a great team, historically and this year.
“We’ll learn from our mistakes and make a few adjustments. We just wanted to come play some great teams in Baton Rouge and try to get better.”
Right fielder Connor Smith led Benton (6-7) with a single, double and two RBIs.
Fletcher was 2-for-3 for the Eagles, while Sam O’Brien and Toups were 2-for-4 and scored two runs apiece.