May 9, 2015

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

MARION – Freshman third baseman Doug Parks stroked a walk-off RBI single Friday to lead the John A. Logan College baseball team to a 4-3 win over Lincoln Trail in semi-final round play of the Region 24 tournament at Rent One Park.

The hit was Parks’ second of the night and ninth in 17 at bats in the postseason to lead the team.

“I just kind of shortened up my stride a little bit and am not trying to do too much with the pitch, just trying to go with the pitch and hit it hard,” Parks said.

Logan will now play Kaskaskia, a 2-1 winner over Southwestern Illinois, in the championship game at 1 p.m. today. The winner will host the District tournament next weekend. The loser will have to win the 4 p.m. consolation game to earn a second spot in the District.

The Vols took a 2-0 lead in the second inning. Tyler Robertson singled and came around to score on a double by Kenny King and error on the rightfielder, Hunter Best. King, who took third on the error, then scored on an error by the shortstop, Eli Boggess.

The Statesmen bounced back to score three unearned runs off Vols’ starting pitcher, Ryan Dunne, in the top of the fifth inning. Dunne went seven innings in all, surrendering three runs on four hits with nine strikeouts and three walks.

Logan tied the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the fifth when Jake Carpenter, who had reached on a fielder’s choice, came around to score on an errant throw by Boggess. The score then remained tied until the bottom of the ninth.

Winning pitcher for the Vols was Matthias Dietz (4-3), who worked two scoreless innings, allowing no hits. Tough-luck loser was Damon Olds, who worked 8 1/3 innings before giving way to Nick Cumpston.

After Olds got Robertson to ground out back to the mound to start the ninth, King singled, his third base knock of the night.

“I’m just staying relaxed at the plate,” King said. “I’m just doing what I’ve been doing my whole life – playing baseball.”

Cumpston relieved Olds after King’s hit. An error by third baseman Frank Maloney placed runners on first and second with one out. Boggess injured his leg on the play and had to leave the game. Parks then followed with his game-winning hit.

Vols head coach Jerry Halstead said any kind of win in the postseason is special.

“It didn’t come easy to us, but we’ll certainly take it,” he said. “It was nice to leave a team on the field for a change. Kenny did a great job to get things started with a base hit to the opposite field. Jake Carpenter got him over to second on the error, which was huge, and then Dougie sat back on a fastball and hammered it to left. I think he’s locked in, seeing fastballs, and not taking them. This is a fastball league.”

Logan improves to 27-15.

 

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Dr. Steve O’Keefe at 618-985-2828 ext. 8569 or email at steveokeefe@jalc.edu.