Brock shuts down Paradise in key 7-3A matchup

By Reece Waddell | Published Tuesday, April 23, 2019.
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Locked in a scoreless pitcher’s duel Monday night, Brock’s Cooper Allen lofted a pop fly that drifted into shallow center field.

Two Paradise players converged, but neither were able to make the play, allowing the runner from third to score and give the Eagles a 1-0 lead. After a hit by pitch and walk loaded the bases, Mikey Passariello wiggled his way out of trouble, inducing a fly ball to retire the side in the fifth.

Messenger photo by Mack Thweatt.

“Mikey battled his butt off early and got out of jams,” said Paradise coach Jason McCoy. “We had to go to the bullpen because his pitch count got up there, which is kind of a new thing.”

Passariello got the first two outs in the sixth, but surrendered a solo home run to Parker Bounds, effectively ending his outing. Brock added four runs in the seventh off the Panthers’ relievers to pull away for a 7-0 victory.

“After [Bounds] hit the solo homer, they just continued to get guys on and put the pressure on,” McCoy said. “I think it kind of took the wind out of a lot of people’s sails — players, fans, everybody.”

In the second and third innings, Passariello navigated around two-out walks and singles to keep Brock off the board.

Later in the fourth, Passariello got some help from his defense, as right fielder Trey Valentine made a diving grab and came up firing to double off a runner at second.

Messenger photo by Mack Thweatt.

“In a game like this one, you have to have plays like the one Trey made,” McCoy said. “That’s a heck of a play. He came around it and found a way to time it out. Plays like that get everybody going.”

Passariello ended the night after five and two-thirds innings. He scattered three runs on three hits, striking out three. He issued six walks.

Paradise’s Jace Essig broke up Brock starter Caleb Satterfield’s no-hit bid with two outs in the seventh on a double. It was the Panthers’ only hit.

“We were under a lot. Our timing was a little off,” McCoy said. “After the second inning, I believe we changed our approach to be a little more aggressive. It was like the first meeting. We couldn’t put the ball in play and find a base hit. “

The win gave Brock a stranglehold on the second seed in District 7-3A. Paradise has already clinched a playoff berth and will finish the regular season Friday on the road at first-place Breckenridge.

If the Panthers win and Boyd loses its remaining two games, Paradise would finish third. If the Panthers lose to Breckenridge and Boyd wins out, Paradise would be fourth.

If Paradise and Boyd both win, the two would tie for third at 10-4. The Panthers and Yellowjackets split the season series with each other.

“[Friday’s game] important seeding wise, but it’s also important now to see how we bounce back from this,” McCoy said. “I know these guys. They’re going to show up tomorrow morning ready to go. They want it bad.”

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