Baseball: Throwing heat – Paradise sophomore ties school record for strikeouts

By Reece Waddell | Published Saturday, April 7, 2018
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Mikey Passariello’s night did not start as planned.

After giving up a triple to the first batter of the game, Passariello immediately surrendered a two-run homer to left field.

DIALED IN – Paradise sophomore Mikey Passariello tied a school record with 17 strikeouts Tuesday against Bowie. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Staring a 2-0 deficit squarely in the face, the lanky sophomore quickly regrouped.

“That first inning kind of got to me for a second,” Passariello said. “I was like ‘I’ve got to make up for that.'”

Passariello never allowed another hit and struck out a career-best 17 Bowie batters to lead Paradise to a 7-2 road win Tuesday.

It was not until after the game was over that Passariello realized he had tied a school record for number of strikeouts in a game.

“I honestly had no idea [how many strikeouts I had],” Passairello said. “I was just trying to keep them at two runs. That was my main goal. I really was not expecting that. I was expecting it to be a high-scoring game, honestly.”

Passariello has thrown big innings for Paradise all season, leading the team in innings pitched. With the Panthers’ District 8-3A race heating up, Paradise coach Nick Pike knows how crucial Passariello will be down the stretch.

Paradise is currently in fourth place at 3-4 and holds the head-to-head tiebreaker over Bowie thanks to Passariello’s gem.

“The sophomore grew up a lot [Tuesday] night,” said assistant coach Chad Woodard. “The first inning they went triple, home run, but he found a way to get it back. They didn’t touch him after that – literally.”

Pike said Passariello’s ability to locate his pitches has improved throughout the year and was on display against Bowie.

“He was locating his fastball and his ability to throw the slider in any count helped keep them off-balance,” Pike said. “He’s going to be huge. He and Parker [Cook] have been carrying the load. We need both of them to step up and [Passariello] took a step in the right direction.”

Even though Passariello is 1-3 in his last four starts, he has an ERA of just 2.70 in those games. Passariello has fanned 32 batters over the last four contests and has 40 strikeouts in 32 1/3 innings this season. His ERA for the year is 2.60.

Opponents are hitting just .217 against him.

After Friday’s game against Holliday, Paradise will have six games left in the regular season to secure a playoff berth. Passariello is going to do everything he can to ensure the Panthers are playing in the postseason.

“We’re one of those teams people underestimate a lot because we’re so young,” Passariello said. “We’re really dangerous, but [striking out 17] helps.”

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