Brock routs Paradise, wins bi-district series 2-0

By Reece Waddell | Published Friday, May 4, 2018.
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Mikey Passariello played with fire for the first three innings Friday against No. 2 Brock.

After loading the bases with two outs in the first, Passariello surrendered just one run on a passed ball. Later in the third, Passariello minimized the damage when Cooper Allen plated two runs on an RBI-single through the left side of the infield.

But in the fourth inning, Passariello finally got burned. 

The Eagles executed a suicide squeeze to drive in a run and on the next batter, Cooper Nelson cleared the bases with a three-RBI triple. Brock scored four more runs in the fifth to rout Paradise 11-1 in five innings and win the 3A Region I bi-district series 2-0 at Weatherford College.

“He just fell behind in some counts,” said Paradise coach Nick Pike of Passariello. “I thought he competed well, but we didn’t make some plays behind him. Falling behind in counts against good hitters — they’ll make you pay for it.”

Passariello surrendered seven runs on eleven hits over four innings. He struck out four and walked four. Passairello only threw 51 of his 91 pitches for strikes.

He struggled with his command for most of the game, as 36.4 percent of his pitches were balls.

“I was just trying to place pitches, and that’s not something I need to do,” Passariello said. “I just need to reach back and throw the ball. I feel like I got a little frustrated. I let it get to me, which shouldn’t happen.”

Trace Tyler pitched the final inning for Paradise in relief. He gave up four runs on five hits.

The Panthers got their lone run of the game on an error in the third inning. Mitchell Sellars lofted a shallow fly ball to left field that Brock’s outfielder could not corral. 

Paradise worked two walks to lead-off the second inning, but Jase Lopez pulled the string on Blaine Gibson, striking him out to retire the side. The Panthers managed just two hits in the loss.

“Coming up with that big hit has been [a problem] a lot of the year,” Pike said.

Paradise ended its season 10-15 overall. The Panthers went 8-6 in District 8-3A, claiming the fourth and final playoff spot in district.

Brock and Paradise will meet twice a year next season, as the two schools will be in the newly re-aligned District 7-3A.

“We have a lot coming back and a lot to look forward to. We can compete with the big dogs,” Pike said.  “I’m proud of the way they competed. I wish it would have ended better for them.”

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