Yellowjackets hold off Paradise in extra innings

By Reece Waddell | Published Wednesday, March 13, 2019.
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After Parker Cook tied the game with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh, Boyd and Paradise went to extra innings Tuesday afternoon knotted at five.

With one out and a runner at third, Boyd’s Whitt Hill laid down a bunt. The throw to first got by Lakin Yates, who was covering the bag, allowing Koby Miller to score.

The Yellowjackets added an insurance run later in the eighth when Zeb Souder escaped a rundown and scored, as Boyd held on to beat the Panthers 7-5 in eight innings.

Paradise’s Lakin Yates throws to first base. Photo courtesy James Moats.

“The kid laid down a good bunt,” said Paradise coach Jason McCoy. “We were there. The timing just wasn’t exactly good. It’s a hard throw to make to Lakin who was covering. It was a bang-bang [play]. You have to catch the ball as you move.”

Paradise trailed for most of the game, as Boyd jumped out to a 3-0 lead. The Yellowjackets got on the board in the second inning when Jason King scored from third after the Panthers tried to throw out a runner stealing second.

Later in the fourth, Boyd added two more runs on an RBI-double from Lane Wilson off Paradise starter Mikey Passariello. The Panthers’ ace went four and two-thirds innings, giving up five runs of seven hits. He struck out nine and walked four.

“I think we came out a little passive at the plate, but as we started getting more aggressive we started to get the barrel on [the ball],” said Boyd coach Brad McIntire. “We got his pitch count up, and that was key to getting him out of the game.”

Yates got Paradise closer in the bottom of the fourth, plating Colby Cox and Passariello after a Boyd error. The Yellowjackets got the two runs back in the top of the fifth on a 2-RBI single from Jason King.

He ended the afternoon 2-for-3.

Paradise catcher Jace Essig throws the ball during a game against Boyd Tuesday afternoon. Photo courtesy James Moats.

“[Passariello] was throwing a lot of first-pitch fastballs and I was just trying to hit them,” King said. “We had been taking a lot of defensive swings and I was trying to be the aggressor.”

The Panthers eventually chased Boyd started Boston McIntire in the fifth inning, when a Jace Essig single loaded the bases for Sellers. McIntire struck out three and gave up three runs on four hits over four innings.

Rustyn Ellis entered in relief and got out of the jam. In the seventh, he minimized the damage again with runners at second and third and one out, as the Panthers only managed to tie the game and force extras.

Boyd improved to 9-4-1 and 1-0 in District 7-3A. Paradise fell to 6-6-2 and 0-1 in league play.

“It’s huge,” Coach McIntire said. “Starting off with a rival like that, a game like that, any time you can start 1-0 it’s definitely big.”

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