ONTARIO, OR – Senior hurler Shane Parkinson struck out thirteen Tigers and Zane Stephenson drove in three runs as the Snake River Panthers advanced to the winners side of the state baseball tournament bracket with a 5-0 victory over Timberlake on Thursday morning.
“This was big,” Parkinson said. “This is my senior year and I definitely didn’t want anything but the winners bracket this year.”
Parkinson was big all day long as he limited the Timberlake lineup to just two hits on the day in the complete game victory.
“Shane did well,” Snake River skipper James Carter said. “He did what a senior is supposed to do. He starts the first game of the state tournament and gets his team a win. For him to work a complete game was big for us as well because it sets up our pitching rotation for the rest of the tournament and now on Saturday we will have everyone available.”
The Panther offense staked Parkinson to an early lead as Adrian Castaneda led off the home half of the first inning with a base on balls, stole second and then came racing home courtesy of an RBI single by Zane Stephenson.
“It’s not fun pitching when you’re behind so after we got the lead I was able to relax a little bit and just throw strikes,” Parkinson said. “I really felt like I could blow my fastball by them and they were way out in front of my curveball.”
Snake River added another run in the bottom of the third inning as they took advantage of a base on balls by Wyatt Wray and then an error and a wild pitch by Timberlake starter J.D. Page.
Page eventually was knocked out of the game after the fourth inning, an inning that witnessed the Panthers putting up three more runs on the board as Parkinson helped his own cause with a one out single to start the uprising.
An error followed by singles by Cole Rushton, Wyatt Wray and Zane Stephenson put the cap on the offense for the Panthers as they led 5-0.
“We didn’t hit the ball as well as we have in the past but the hits that we got today were all timely hits,” Coach Carter said. “It was a great start to the tournament for us. We really didn’t know what to expect from Timberlake because we have never seen them but our guys came out and played hard right from the opening pitch. The kids should be proud.”
Snake River will play Kimberly today in the state semi-final game with first pitch scheduled for 4 P.M. at Elk Park in Ontario, Oregon.
SNAKE RIVER 5, TIMBERLAKE 0
Timberlake 000 000 0 – 0 2 3
Snake River 101 300 x – 5 7 1
Timberlake – Austin Allen 1-3 2SB, Mason Cramel 1-2; pitching – J.D. Page (L) 4IP 5R 5H 2BB, Kaden Foster 2IP 0R 2H 1K 0BB.
Snake River – Zane Stephenson 2-4 3RBI, Travis Robertson 1-3, Shane Parkinson 2-2 R, Cole Rushton 1-3 RBI, Wyatt Wray 1-2 R; pitching – Shane Parkinson (W) 7IP 0R 2H 13K 5BB 2HP.