SPORTS HEADLINES

Cook leads Panthers to win: Late error proves costly for Boyd

By Reece Waddell | Published Wednesday, April 10, 2019
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Locked in

LOCKED IN – Paradise’s Parker Cook winds up to throw during the Panthers’ 4-3 win over Boyd Friday night. Cook tossed a complete game and struck out nine. Messenger photo by Mack Thweatt

Facing his biggest jam Friday night, Paradise’s Parker Cook stepped off the rubber and wiped the sweat from his brow.

Boyd led off the bottom of the sixth with consecutive singles, putting runners on first and second with no outs and the game tied at three. Cook took a long look in before striking out Brian Couture for the first out.

He then got Jason King to harmlessly fly out to left field, and escaped danger completely when Jaiylen McGilvery was caught trying to swipe third for the final out.

“I just told myself that if I don’t do this, who’s going to do it?” Cook said. “I was going to make them put the ball in play and see if they could hit it.”

The Panthers took advantage of Cook’s clutch pitching in the top of the seventh, capitalizing on a Boyd error to take the lead. Cook retired the Yellowjackets in order in the bottom half of the frame, finishing the complete game to seal Paradise’s 4-3 win.

“Parker being a sophomore – he’s a dude on the mound,” said Paradise coach Jason McCoy. “You watch him out there in the seventh inning, nothing gets to him. He’s relaxed and he enjoys the moment. He’s a go-to guy.”

Cook allowed three runs while scattering six hits in seven innings. He struck out nine without issuing a walk.

Paradise took the lead in the seventh when Cade Goodman roped a single that got by Boyd right fielder Lane Wilson. The ball rolled to the wall, allowing Jack Ishmael to score from first.

“He was trying to do too much,” said Boyd coach Brad McIntire. “He was wanting to come up and make a throw and it wasn’t really a throwing situation. He came up too early and let it get under him.”

Trace Tyler got the scoring started for the Panthers in the top of the second, singling home a run. Paradise added another run on a double steal, going up 2-0.

The Yellowjackets tied the game at two in the bottom of the second, scoring on a sacrifice fly from Wilson and a passed ball. Boyd took the lead, 3-2, on another passed ball.

Cook tied the game at three on an RBI-double in the third off Boyd starter Boston McIntire, who gave up four runs on seven hits and struck out nine.

The Yellowjackets had a chance to take the lead in the fifth, but squandered a lead-off double by Wilson.

“We just didn’t execute what the game asked us to,” McIntire said. “We had a lot of opportunities. We got guys on with no outs and tried to get bunts down, but we were 0-for. If we were able to get bunts down, we would have scored three or four more runs on them.”

Boyd fell to 13-7-1 and 5-3 in District 7-3A. Paradise improved to 11-8-2 and 5-3 in 7-3A.

The two schools split the season series and are tied for third in district behind Brock and Breckenridge with six games remaining.

“This is huge,” McCoy said. “Now we’re dead even at 5-3. This district is really good. Getting this win is huge, not only standings-wise, but for these guys and their confidence.”

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