Leader Blues

Friday, July 10, 2009

SPORTS >> Bruins no-hit by Russellville hurler

By KELLY FENTON
Leader sports editor

It turns out those five errors that led to nine unearned runs were the least of Sylvan Hills’ problems on Thursday night.

The bigger problem was Russellville hurler Danny Parker, who tossed a six-inning no-hitter and limited the Bruins to two base runners in Sylvan Hills Optimist Club’s 11-0 loss at Kevin McReynolds Field in American Legion senior action.

Parker set down the final 11 Bruins and allowed only one base runner to reach second base, when Jake Dillon walked and moved over on a passed ball in the third. Korey Arnold was the only other Bruin to reach when he drew a walk in the first inning.

Offensively, Madison Beard and Mack Pickering did most of the damage for Russellville off Sylvan Hills starter Hunter Miller.

Pickering cracked a solo home run in the third and Beard delivered a three-run double in a nine-run sixth that put the game away.

Singles by Che McGee, Pickering and Erick Sanchez staked Russellville to a 1-0 lead after one. Miller was solid through the first five innings for Optimist Club, giving up only a first-inning run and Pickering’s home run in the third and pitching around errors in the fourth and fifth innings to keep the deficit at 2-0.

But the wheels came off in the sixth and, with a call Miller clearly felt he should have received, the score entering the bottom of the inning would have remained 2-0. After Derrick Pledger reached on an error to begin the inning, Miller set down the next two Russellville hitters. But Matt Jones walked and Zach Ward singled to load the bases.

A 1-2 pitch to Bobby Clark appeared to be right down Central, and had Miller halfway to the dugout before he realized it had been called a ball. Clark then reached safely on an error to make it 3-0 and McGee drew a walk to score another.

Even then, the 4-0 deficit seemed manageable, even with Parker dealing as he was. But Pickering was safe at first after striking out on a wild pitch as Ward came home and Beard delivered the big blow with a bases-clearing double into right center.

Singles by Pledger, Sanchez and Lucas Kemling produced three more runs as Russellville totaled nine – all unearned – in the inning after sending 13 batters to the plate.

Parker fanned two batters each in the first through fourth innings on his way to nine strikeouts. He got three harmless ground balls in the sixth to complete the no-hitter. The only Bruins to hit the ball hard were Austin Spears, who flied out to deep left-center in the fourth, and Geno Jameson, who hit a solid grounder to Clark at second in the fifth.

Russellville finished with 10 hits and was flawless in the field. Pickering, Beard and Sanchez had two hits apiece. Miller struck out eight for Sylvan Hills.