BRUSLY — Call it a tough night for Brusly.
Call it 16 in a row for Parkview’s Eagles.
For a while Friday night it looked like a possible repeat of Wednesday’s PBS-Brusly game when Brusly scored five third-inning runs and held on for a 5-1 win.
The Panthers again led after three innings, this time by a 4-2 margin, but this time Parkview managed a big inning of its own to come back for a 7-4 win to claim the District 7-3A title, the 16th straight year the Eagles have claimed a district crown.
The lights went out for nearly 30 minutes during the bottom of the sixth inning, but there was no power shortage on the Parkview side of the diamond. The Eagles pounded out 11 hits off three Brusly pitchers, including four doubles and a triple.
Two of the doubles were off the bat of junior Adam Tarver, who also scored a run, had two RBIs, and pitched four scoreless innings in relief.
“I’ll do whatever it takes to help my team,” said Tarver, who started the game at third base. “I do like to have the ball in my hand. I wasn’t thinking much (when Brusly took the lead), just that we needed to play our game and win district and get ready for the playoffs.”
Brusly starter London Blank gave up a two-out double to Tarver in the first inning, but got Chris Dupont to pop up for the third out.
Brusly (22-8, 7-3 in district) also had one base runner in the first when Evan Daigle worked Parkview starter Josh Green for a walk, but Daigle was thrown out by catcher Hayden Nickens on a steal attempt.
Blank breezed through a 1-2-3 second inning and struck out Ryan Key for the third out and his first strikeout of the game.
The Panthers picked up an unearned run without hitting the ball out of the infield in the second.
After Luke LeBlanc struck out to open the inning, Austin Watts was hit by a pitch and advanced to third on a failed pickoff attempt at first base. Landon Andre followed with a slow ground ball to second to drive in the run.
Parkview (20-11, 9-1) came back to take the lead in the top of the third on RBI singles by Pryce Fletcher and Chris Dupont. Fletcher drove in Sam O’Brien who doubled to lead off the inning, then scored when Dupont dove into first to beat out a nubber to first baseman Luke LeBlanc.
Timely hitting and shaky Parkview defense put Brusly back in the lead after three full innings. Singles by Brennan Allen, Blake Manola and Evan Daigle, along with two errors, two wild pitches and a passed ball allowed the Panthers to score three runs to go ahead 4-2.
Parkview coach Darron Mitchell did admit to a little déjà vu after Brusly’s third inning.
“Our game with U-High was like that, too,” he said, “where we fell behind and had to come back. Tonight we were able to get some timely hits, and I’m proud of the way our guys fought for seven innings.”
Parkview’s big inning was the fifth. After Blank had another 1-2-3 inning in the fourth, the Eagles strung together four hits to go with a costly error and a wild pitch, to plate four runs. Tarver, Nickens and Key had RBIs in the inning.
Parkview snuffed out a Brusly rally in the sixth with a double play, then added one more run in the seventh on a two-out single by Davis Dunn and a triple by Pryce Fletcher.
Brusly coach Tait Dupont was upbeat about the game, which was played in front of one of the largest crowds in Brusly history, about his team, and about the season in District 7-3A.
“Parkview just hit the heck out of the ball tonight,” Dupont said. “Our boys played hard, their boys played hard and it was unbelievable how many people were here. It was a real playoff atmosphere. It can’t help but get both teams ready for the playoffs.