It’s a good thing Hunter Parsons did not fall into the folly of superstition.
Appointed to the pitching duties in Saturday’s game against the James M. Bennett Clippers, the Parkside pitcher — wearing the supposed unlucky No. 13 — threw a no-hitter garnering seven strikeouts and one walk in their 10-0 victory that went through five innings.
“It feels good, I couldn’t have done it without the defense behind me,” Parsons said. “Without them it wouldn’t have been a no-hitter.”
At the game’s end, the wily pitcher was praised by his head coach saying that he is a player that leads by example.
“(Parsons) responds every time that we ask him to and I’m very pleased with his performance and the rest of the team’s as well,” Parkside head coach Brian Hollamon said. “I expect (Parsons) to throw well and I don’t worry how he’s going to perform — he comes ready to play.”
Like Parsons, the entirety of the team came ready to play. By the end of the first inning, Parkside (9-1) was leading Bennett, 4-0 after the bats of Jack Goertzen and Matt Smith came to life. With two down, Goertzen stepped up to the plate and belted a ball that drove in a run — an RBI double.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the following batter looked as if he was going to fly out but the right fielder dropped the ball that tipped off his glove notching an error, putting another man on base and scoring a runner at third.
From there, starting pitcher for Bennett, Caleb Taylor wound up to Matt Smith. Smith hit the ball with the head of the bat as he drove it over the left-field fence driving in two more runs.
On the day, Smith had two home runs and three RBIs.
“Bennett is obviously a good team and we needed to score as many runs as we possibly (could),” he said. “If we lost we would’ve been in a bad position.”
Saturday’s game held major implications in the Bayside South race. Parkside and Bennett were among two of three teams atop the conference with Decatur (6-0) in first, Parkside in second and Bennett (4-2) in third.
But as the end of the first inning concluded, Bennett’s winning hopes were far from stifled. Taylor allowed no runs in the second inning, the only scoreless inning of the day. He said his 4-0 outing in the first inning was all in his head.
“I was frustrated, I wasn’t getting strikes called and I was all over the place with my mechanics Taylor said. “Looking forward, we need to use what we feel now, use all the anger, the frustration and the feeling of losing and use it against everyone else coming up and play all-out.”
Taylor would eventually be pulled in the third inning after surrendering five earned runs.
Parkside looks to put another tally in the win column on Monday when they play Snow Hill. For Bennett, their next game will be against Washington on Monday, as well.