Miller Parker missed Evangel’s opening playoff win against Delcambre with a concussion.
Parker, the Eagles’ leadoff hitter, didn’t miss the first pitch he saw Tuesday night in Evangel’s second-round Class 2A playoff win against Riverside Academy.
Parker roped singles into left field in his first two at bats and scored each time to give Evangel (19-10) an early lead on the way to a 7-1 victory against the Rebels (13-15). His first run came when Riverside’s pitcher picked off an Evangel runner attempting to steal second.
Parker, at third, sprinted home and slid past a tag. He scored again, all the way from first base, on a double from Ryne Ray in the third.
“Honestly, I wasn’t seeing the ball really well, but I had decided to just come out and be aggressive,” Parker said. “We had been a little flat in the first innings for a few games. I wanted to jump start our bats, and it really paid off. Scoring early was vital. Once you get the momentum, it helps everything snowball and start going our way.”
Evangel pitcher Scotty Harville threw six innings, giving up one unearned run, for the win.
“It was an exceptional outing for him,” Evangel coach Tim Hulett said. “He threw a lot of strikes. His breaking ball was dropping in, and his sinker might have been even better.”
Up 2-0 after Parker’s runs, Evangel put the game away in the fifth. Austin Stegall singled and scored to start the scoring for the Eagles, who pushed across five runs, all with two outs. Nate Fielder and Blake Buckman each drove in a run to make the score 5-0, and Chance Defriend capped the rally with a two-run homer to left field.
“We did a good job at the plate, made their guy throw a lot of pitches, and we really took away the outside part of the plate,” Hulett said. “He tried to come in a few times, especially in that five-run inning, and our guys didn’t miss and were able to hit the ball hard. We ran the bases exceptionally well.”