Shane Merrill | Sports
The Parker 9/10 baseball season opened Wednesday, June 3, on the newly renovated field two in Parker. The Pheasants played host to neighboring Freeman, splitting into two teams. Parker was able to come away with a victory in the first game, but fell 6-3 in the second game after lightning ended the contest early.
A week later Parker welcomed another non-league foe in Viborg-Hurley. Parker wasted little time in both games, Parker Blue won the first contest 16-2, while Parker Red won the second 14-2.
League play then began the following week, with Parker Blue, coached by Shane Merrill, matching up with one of three Lennox squads. On the mound for Parker Blue was Luke Travnicek, who pitched five innings, allowing zero runs on three hits and striking out 11 batters. Offensively, the Pheasants had 10 hits with Luke Travnicek posting a three run homer to seal the win, along with hits from Owen Travnicek, Korbyn Leville, Marquise Bortnem. Parker also had zero errors on the night.
Just two nights later Parker Blue traveled to Worthing, posting an impressive 16-3 victory. Levi Rand led the offense with a grand slam in the third inning while Luke Travnicek, Cater Berens, Marquis Bortnem, Owen Travnicek, Korbyn Leville and Teegun Wentzel all had multiple hits, 13 in total. Once again Parker had zero errors in the field.
Parker Red, coached by Mike VanVliet, also opened league play last week, first facing Canton and then Tea.
The Pheasants opened league play against one of three Canton teams, asserting their way to a 16-2 win. Brady Beyer opened the game on the mound for Parker, allowing zero runs on zero hits striking out three batters. Several other pitchers took to the mound for Parker, but it was the offense that led the way, with Parker tearing up the base paths. Beyer, Levi Rand, Caleb Wieman, Jake VanVliet, Caleb Fosheim, Nolan Mitzner and Jack Anderson all led the way with multiple RBI’s, with Rand posting another home run.
Thursday night the Pheasants were right back in action, but this time had their work cut out for them clawing their way to a 7-6 come from behind victory.
A walk off single propelled Parker to a decisive 7-6 victory as Jake VanVliet singled on a 3-2 count scoring the go ahead, winning run. Nolan Mitzner led the bats going 2-2 at the plate. Parker stole eight bases in all, but committed two errors on the night.
“We’re off to a good, fast start,” said co-coaches Mike VanVliet and Shane Merrill. “We are happy we were able to get some early games in before league could begin, and glad we could have a season with the way things looked early.”
Parker will stay busy with several games in the coming weeks and the state tournament July 10-12.