Rivalry games can bring out the best in opponents, and it brought out the best in pitching Tuesday evening at Parkview Baptist.
Parkview’s Adam Tarver and University High’s Jacob McCain both pitched well enough to win their District 7-3A matchup. On this night, Tarver was a little better as Parkview edged U-High 2-0.
Parkview (12-11, 2-1) picked up both its runs in the fourth inning. Tarver limited U-High (14-7, 2-1) to two hits and only four baserunners.
The teams complete their home-and-home series at U-High on Thursday.
“This is the best (Tarver) has looked all year,” Parkview coach Darron Mitchell said. “His velocity was good, and his location was good. I’m very happy for him especially being able to finish all seven innings.”
For the game, Tarver threw 113 pitches, 72 for strikes, and faced 24 batters. He walked one batter and hit another. He also struck out 11 batters including 8 of 10 at one point.
“I felt stronger as the game wore on,” said Tarver, who had success with his curveball. “My curveball is usually pretty good. The more fatigued I get, the better it gets.”
McCain also went the distance with an 86-pitch outing that included 53 strikes in six innings. He surrendered five hits, walked one and struck out five.
“I thought Jacob McCain gave us a chance to win, which is what he does,” U-High coach Justin Morgan said. “We usually play really well behind him, but you have to tip your cap to Tarver.
“Like I told our guys, this is baseball. Tonight there was a guy on the hill that matched us, and they got the big hits.”
Tarver drew a leadoff walk to start Parkview’s fourth-inning uprising. Hayden Nickens followed with an RBI double to deep center. After Hunter Joubert’s sacrifice moved the runner up a base, Matthew Vicknair delivered an RBI ground out to short.
U-High shortstop Jake Wharton committed three errors in the game, usually enough to be a difference-maker in a tight game. However, the Cubs were unscathed as none of the errors accounted for any runs.
McCain stranded Sam O’Brien in the first, and Eric Wharton in the third.
In the fifth inning, Parkview loaded the bases with one out, in part with help from Jake Wharton’s error when he bobbled a chance for a force out at second. He redeemed himself on the next at bat snagging Tarver’s line drive, and stepping on second for an unassisted double play.
Vicknair gave Parkview a chance to add an insurance run in the sixth with a two-out double. McCain responded by striking out Logan Toups to get out of the inning.
“McCain can pitch,” Mitchell said. “He’s not overpowering, but he can locate the ball. He worked both sides of the plate, and expanded the zone when he had to. He was good.”
U-High had runners in scoring position in two innings.
With two outs in the second, Brooks Southall was hit by a pitch. Josh Becnel followed with an infield hit to put two men on. Tarver then threw to shortstop O’Brien to pick off Southall at second.
Seth Daugherty lashed a one-out triple to left-center in the sixth. He was stranded as Tarver got a strike out, and a pop fly to retire the side.