Walker becomes Park Hill South's all-time winningest baseball coach

After a lengthy career at Park Hill South, Josh Walker set a coaching record.

The Panthers’ 13-4 win against Truman on Monday, April 11 improved Walker’s career record to 91-81. In his seventh year as head coach but a staff member since the school opened, he became the winningest coach in program history.

BRYCE MERENESS/Citizen photo Park Hill South baseball coach Josh Walker, seen here in a softball game this past fall, won his 91st game with the Panthers in his seventh season in charge, making him the all-time winningest coach in program history.

BRYCE MERENESS/Citizen photo
Park Hill South baseball coach Josh Walker, seen here in a softball game this past fall, won his 91st game with the Panthers in his seventh season in charge, making him the all-time winningest coach in program history.

Park Hill South, 7-5 overall and 1-1 Suburban Conference Red Division entering a Tuesday, April 12 matchup with St. Joseph Central, never trailed against the Patriots but didn’t take the lead for good until the fifth. Truman answered single runs from the Panthers in the first and fourth innings.

In the fifth, Malik Stevenson singled and scored, and he added a two-run home run in the sixth. Brett Palmer then walked and scored on Jake Kline’s double to center field to put the Panthers up 7-2. They scored six more in the seventh — five unearned — sending 11 to the plate.

Ryan Callahan capped the effort with a three-run home run.

Jake Evans allowed single runs in the first, fourth, sixth and seventh and finished 6 1/3 innings, allowing nine hits and four walks while striking out just one. Chase Putnam retired the final two batters, stranding a pair of inherited runners in scoring position.

Park Hill South 16 North Kansas City 1, 5 innings

The Panthers scored at least one run in every inning of a doubleheader opener Saturday, April 11 at Park Hill South High School in Riverside, Mo.

Park Hill South took a 2-0 lead in the first and led 3-0 entering the third. The Panthers put up seven in the third with Andrew Aswegan starting the rally with a one-out triple. Brandon Rice followed with an RBI double, and Jacob Thigpen later added a two-run double.

The six-run fourth included a two-run triple for Thigpen, who went 3-for-4 with two runs and four RBIs.

Park Hill South 2, Kearney 1

A one-out triple from Palmer in the third and Rice’s leadoff single in the fifth helped the Panthers to a two-run lead that held up.

Thigpen allowed five hits and just one run in six innings of work, before James Gomes came in and allowed a hit, struck out one and retired three batters on 11 pitches to earn the save. Kearney scored in the sixth with a pair of hits, but Thigpen stranded two to hold the lead.

Gomes allowed a leadoff double but retired the next three in order without the runner advancing past second.

Palmer tripled to center in the third and scored on Ryan Callahan’s two-out RBI single. Rice advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt in the fifth and scored on Palmer’s single to center with one out.

Park Hill South 17 Ruskin 0, 5 innings

Frank Wood threw a no-hitter on just 52 pitches Thursday, April 7 in Kansas City, Mo.

A one-out walk in the third inning was the lone runner for Ruskin, which struck out seven times. Park Hill South scored three times in the top of the first before collecting the first hit of the game, and the Panthers sent 11 to the plate in the second to score eight.

Kline hit a two-run triple to start the scoring, and Collin Farrow added a bases-loaded triple later in the inning. He came around to score on Rice’s RBI groundout. Only nine of Park Hill South’s runs were earned thanks to seven errors on the Eagles.

Liberty North 13, Park Hill South 11

The Panthers allowed six unearned runs in a frustrating nonconference loss Tuesday, April 5 in Liberty, Mo.

Liberty North scored 10 runs (four unearned) in the bottom of the third inning, sending 14 batters to the plate against Park Hill South starter Ryan Hagen. Damage for the Eagles in the inning included a pair of two-run doubles, and James Perry’s grand slam to right-center field.

Park Hill South led 4-0 going to the bottom of the third after Aswegan led off the top of the second with a double. Stevenson, Kline and Thigpen contributed run scoring singles in a four-run frame.

Liberty North expanded its lead to 13-5 in the fifth, but Park Hill South scored six in the seventh to close the gap.

Ten batters came to the plate with Rice and Kline each hitting a two-run double. Kline scored the final run on Thigpen’s sacrifice fly. Thigpen and Kelby Krieger, who struck out to end the game, each came up representing the tying run.

Liberty 6, Park Hill 0

The Blue Jays snapped the Trojans’ three-game winning streak Monday, April 11 at Park Hill High School in Kansas City, Mo.

Park Hill dropped to 2-1 in Red Division play, unable to score despite seven hits and two walks against Liberty starter Trent Green, who pitched a complete game. Liam Henry provided the lone extra-base hit with a double, and the Trojans stranded seven.

Aaron Ashby allowed two runs in five innings for Park Hill, while Liberty added four against Bryce Balusek in his two innings of relief work. The Trojans walked six. 

Park Hill 7, Kearney 5

The Trojans broke a tie with two runs in the top of the seventh inning Friday, April 8 in Kearney, Mo., a wild finish to a back-and-forth game.

In the top of the third, Park Hill took a 3-0 lead before adding two in the top of the fifth. Kearney answered with three in the bottom of the fifth and two more in the sixth, tying the score off of Trojans reliever Chris Bolte.

Henry went 3-for-3 for Park Hill with two stolen bases, a run and an RBI, while Preston Cross — hitting behind Henry — drove in a pair. All seven of the Trojans’ hits were singles.

Kearney collected 10 hits, including three doubles, and walked three times against Park Hill starter Griffin Fletcher and Bolte, who combined to strike out 11.

Park Hill 11, North Kansas City 2

The Trojans broke a 2-2 tie with three runs in the fifth and then pulled away with six in the sixth Wednesday, April 6 at Park Hill High School in Kansas City, Mo.

Trevor Guzzo went 4-for-4 with a double, two runs scored and two RBIs for Park Hill. Leadoff hitter Lucas Youtsey and No. 3 hitter Liam Henry also scored a pair of rans sandwiched around Guzzo in the lineup. Cross also had a double with a team-high three RBIs.

North Kansas City took a 1-0 lead in the second with the first of two runs scored against Henry (five innings, four hits, four strikeouts and one walk). Dalton Scott pitched a perfect final two innings, including three strikeouts to finish off the win.