Park Hill South baseball goes .500 in busy early stretch

Park Hill South’s busy opening week ended with the Panthers right at .500.

A disappointing 1-3 trip to the Bruin Wood Bat Tournament in Ponca City, Okla. completed a stretch of eight games in eight days for Park Hill South. The lone win for the Panthers came against Collinsville to close play on Friday, March 24.

Park Hill South (4-4) then went 0-2 on Saturday, March 25 to close the four-game series against Oklahoma schools.

Sand Springs scored a shutout 4-0 victory over Park Hill South in Friday’s opener, limiting the Panthers to to just three hits and three walks. They stranded runners in scoring position in the first, third, fifth and sixth innings but didn’t have any extra base hits.

In the win over Collinsville, Park Hill South lost the lead three times before scoring three in the top of the ninth for a 7-4 lead.

Andrew Aswegan, a senior outfielder, put the Panthers up 2-0 in the top of the first with a two-run home run to left. Jack Beuerlein doubled and scored on Collin Brougham’s single in a two-out rally in the fourth to make it 3-2.

Collinsville again fell behind in the sixth at 4-3 when Jake Evans walked to start the inning and came home on senior third baseman Jake Kline’s RBI fielder’s choice. Collinsville struck right back to the score at 4-4 after six innings, and the score remained there until the ninth.

Aswegan led off the ninth with a hit by pitch for Park Hill South, which loaded the bases with nobody out. The first run came home on an error, and Evans singled in two more. Blaaze Booth, the fourth pitcher for the Panthers, struck out the side in the bottom of the ninth to earn the win.

Park Hill South gave up 12 runs in a loss to Bartlesville and then didn’t score in a 4-0 loss to Ponca City to close the tournament on Saturday.

In the 12-4 loss to Bartlesville, the Panthers jumped to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first on Aswegan’s two-run single and a sacrifice fly from senior shortstop Ryan Hagen. However, they allowed seven unearned runs, falling behind 8-4 after a six-run bottom of the fourth for Bartlesville.

Five of the fourth inning runs were unearned thanks to a pair of Park Hill South errors. The Panthers scored all four runs in the first two innings, the last coming after Evans’ leadoff double and Kline’s two-out RBI single in the top of the second.

Ponca City scored three in the third and one in the fourth despite having just five hits in the 4-0 win.

Park Hill South had seven hits, including two apiece for Kline and Evans, but the Panthers stranded seven runners — six in scoring position. 

Other games

Park Hill South 5, Belton 0, Park Hill South 11, Belton 3

The Panthers dominated both halves of a nonconference doubleheader Tuesday, March 21 in Riverside, Mo.

In the opener, Park Hill South scored all five runs in the bottom of the fourth, batting 10. Malik Stevenson led off with a walk, and after a flyout, the next six batters all reached, including RBI singles for Billy Eggers, Stephen Personelli and Brougham.

Hagen threw a two-hit shutout with five strikeouts, working around trouble he caused with four hit batters.

In the finale, Park Hill South scored five unearned runs in the first and went up 7-1 after two innings. Belton committed three errors in the first, and the Panthers took advantage with two-run singles from Eggers and Evans. 

Eggers had another two-run single in the second, and Kline and Stevenson scored once in each of the first two innings.

Park Hill South was scheduled to play at Raytown on Tuesday, March 28, but the result was not available at deadline.


Park Hill 8, Smithville 4

The Trojans took the lead for good with two runs in the top of the third of the tournament’s place game Tuesday, March 21 in Liberty, Mo.

After going 2-2 in pool play, Park Hill ended up in the top half of a 10-team tournament. Grant Mertz had three hits and two RBIs, while junior outfielder Liam Henry scored twice in a balanced offensive showing for the Trojans, who had three big innings.

Park Hill led 2-0 after the top of the first, but starting pitcher Cody Hall, who ended up with the win, gave both back in the bottom half.

The two-run third made it 4-2, and Park Hill added three in the fourth. Hall ended up going five innings without a strikeout before Mertz struck out three to grab a two-inning save.

Park Hill’s scheduled Suburban Conference Gold Division opener with Lee’s Summit was postponed Monday, March 27 due to inclement weather. The Trojans were scheduled to play again Thursday, March 30 against Blue Springs, weather permitting.