Park Hill had the tying run in scoring position in the final inning, but Park Hill South secured the victory with three straight outs for a 5-4 win on Thursday, April 18 in the Northland Tournament.
That game provided a highlight in the five games in five days tournament that also featured Platte County.
The Panthers used a three-run fourth inning to make the difference in this showdown at Park Hill High School.
The two teams each scored a pair of runs in the second inning.
In the top of the frame, Alex Rodriguez reached on a dropped third strike and moved to third on Jackson Dixon’s single. Ryan Owens walked and then Mike Jones walked, forcing in a run. An error allowed a second run for Park Hill South to score.
The Trojans answered quickly.
Corey Bradford doubled and scored on Blake Morrow’s RBI single. Ryan Kiser then doubled to score Tyson Koch, who was running for Morrow.
Park Hill South loaded the bases on singles from Owens and Jones and a walk to Max Pawela in the fourth inning. With two outs, Dylan Hufft singled to bring home a run and Rodriguez doubled to center field to make it 5-2.
“We had a bases loaded situation with nobody out and we were looking at not even scoring a run. Dylan comes up and lines that ball up the middle. It’s a big hit,” Park Hill South coach Jeff Walker said. “We got a good jump off second. Alex came in and he had taken some good at bats. You could see he was getting it timed. Those guys have gone against each other so they were pretty familiar with each other. I thought both of Park Hill’s pitchers pitched really well. We just got the hits when we needed them.”
The Trojans loaded the bases to start the bottom of the fourth on walks to Morrow and Mac Cross and Kiser getting hit by a pitch. Daneff’s fielder’s choice brought home a run, but two runners were caught stealing to end the scoring threat.
Free passes led to another run for the Trojans. Trent Trammel was hit by a pitch, while Zayne Morrow and Blake Morrow each walked. That set up an RBI to Kiser on a bases-loaded walk.
Park Hill had a chance to tie it in the sixth inning after Drew Townsend tripled but he was thrown out at home on an unusual play. The relay throw home after a bobble in the outfield deflected off a glove and to the backstop.
“I thought that we were going to have a hard time getting him,” Walker said. “I thought it was the right call to send him. It happened to bounce off our third baseman’s glove and got all the way to the backstop. (Jackson) Dixon was heads up he was already headed over there. Dylan Hufft as quick as is and as heads up as he was to just get home. There are a lot of pitchers that might not have been there. Having him, as athletic as he is, helped out a lot there.”
In the final inning, Max Pitts walked and a passed ball moved the Maple Woods signee up to second base with no outs. A strikeout, grounder and fly ball ended the game.
There were 14 hits in the game, but Hufft — 2-for-4 — was the only player with multiple hits for either team. Park Hill stranded 10 runners, one more than Park Hill South.
Pawela got the win, throwing three innings and his team gave him the run support needed before he was removed. Matt Elmquist threw one inning and gave up a run. Hufft tossed the final three to earn the save for the Panthers.
Park Hill pitchers combined for 13 strikeouts. Starter Chandler Ashby struck out five in 3 2/3 innings, while Hunter Atkinson fanned eight in 3 1/3 innings of relief.
Kearney 8, Park Hill 0
The Bulldogs got a three-hit shutout by Lance Bolles on Friday, April 19 in the Trojans final game of the Northland Tournament.
Park Hill gave up the runs between the second and fourth inning. A five-run fourth featured two RBI doubles and two runs scoring on errors.
The Trojans, though with only three hits, had at least one runner in scoring position in the first, second, third and fifth innings. Carter Jensen had two of the three hits.
Park Hill South 11, Fort Osage 2
The Indians scored twice in the first inning but the Panthers dominated from there in a win on Friday, April 19 to wrap up the Northland Tournament.
Park Hill South tied the game by the third inning and then a five-run in the fourth to take the lead for good. Dylan Owens had a two-run single in the fourth, while Dylan Hufft, Mike Jones and Ryan Owens also brought home runs. Jones and Dylan Owens had RBI singles in the fifth and Max Pawela had a sac fly. Ryan Owens’ RBI triple capped the scoring in the sixth.
Matt Elmquist gave up one hit and no runs in two innings of relief. Ethan Farrow threw the final three innings.
Platte County vs. Liberty North, ppd.
The teams played only the top of the first inning on Friday, April 19 at Liberty North when the game was called off due to an injury to a Liberty North player.
Liberty North was 4-0 in the Northland Tournament, one win behind Liberty.
Grain Valley 14, Park Hill South 9
The Eagles scored seven runs in the fifth inning and rallied for a win on Wednesday, April 17 at Grain Valley in Day 3 of the Northland Tournament.
Down 6-3 after three innings, the Panthers posted a six-run fourth inning to take the lead. Matt Suchanick and Mike Jones had bases-loaded walks to bring in runs, while Max Pawela (ground out), Dylan Owens (single), Brock Ivy (ground out) and Dylan Hufft (single) brought in runs to make it 9-6.
The seven-run fifth for Grain Valley included two-run singles by Trent Flake and Cade Mation.
Platte County 12, Oak Park 8
The Pirates bunched together multiple runs in each inning to pick up a win on Wednesday, April 17 against the Northmen in the Northland Tournament in Kansas City.
Platte County got a pair of runs in the first inning, one on an error and another on Colby Sneed’s RBI single, and never trailed.
After Oak Park pulled within 2-1, the Pirates scored five runs in the third. Trent Rueckert doubled and scored on Dalton Riechers RBI single Ethan Esdohr tripled to bring home a run before two errors followed. Nolan Saale and Christian Grissell added a RBI later in the frame to make it 7-1. Esdohr, a Pitt State signee, had a two-run double in the fourth to push the lead to 9-1. Riechers, who signed later that night to play baseball at Benedictine, had a two-run double in the fifth inning. He scored three runs with a pair of hits, while Esdohr had three extra base hits.
Liberty North 4, Park Hill 2
The Trojans led 2-1 after four innings but a three-run sixth gave the visiting Eagles a win on Wednesday, April 17 at Park Hill High School.
Park Hill loaded the bases in the first inning on walks but came up empty handed. The next inning, Tyson Koch had a sac fly to give the Trojans a 1-0 lead.
Zayne Morrow clubbed a home run to right field in the bottom of the fourth to give the Trojans the 2-1 lead.
Chase Jones had a two-run triple to give Liberty North the lead for good in the sixth. Nate Chester followed with a single to account for the final score.
Wichita State signee Will Stevens fanned five and gave up one run in five innings for Park Hill. He was in line for the win before Liberty North rallied.
Park Hill South 15, North Kansas City 0
The Panthers needed only three innings to dispatch the Hornets on Tuesday, April 16 in the Northland Tournament in Riverside.
Alex Rodriguez faced only nine batters and threw an abbreviated perfect game on 39 pitches.
Ryan Owens, Dylan Owens and Sean Sparks drove in runs during the four-run first inning. The five-run second had RBI coming from Mike Jones, Sparks, Dylan Hufft, Will Fricker and Brock Ivy – who had a grand slam in the third inning. Sparks added his third RBI in the frame as well.
Platte County 5, Fort Osage 0
Three pitchers combined on a two-hit shutout for the Pirates on Tuesday, April 16.
Dalton Riechers threw the opening two frames and struck out four and gave up one hit. Christin Grissell got the win as the Pirates scored a run in the fourth inning – his final inning of work.
He struck out two and gave up one hit in two innings. Ben Haddix threw the final two frames to secure the shutout.
Colby Sneed’s RBI double brought home Ethan Esdohr for the first run of the contest. Platte County added four runs in its final time at the plate. Glen Gammill and Chase James had RBI singles and Nolan Saale doubled home run. An error by the Indians led to another run in the frame.
Liberty 10, Park Hill 0
The state-ranked Bluejays scored nine runs in the first three innings and ended the game in the bottom of the fifth with a run to get to the mercy rule on Tuesday, April 16.
No. 5-ranked Bluejays got five runs in the first, then three in the second and another in the third against the Trojans in day two in the Northland Tournament.
Park Hill had only one hit against Jacob Selock, a single by Ryan Kiser in the third inning.
Drew Mackie drove in three runs for Liberty, while Selock and Chayton Beck had two RBI.