The Panthers, on the other hand, got most of their key hits in Game 2.
In a rematch of last year’s state championship won by Parkview, Hillgrove began the series with a 6-3 victory on its home field. The Hawks, however, couldn’t complete the sweep and lost 4-1 in the nightcap.
The teams will play the decisive third game today at 5:55 p.m. While Parkview had not yet decided on its Game 3 starter after Tuesday night’s doubleheader, Hillgrove is leaning towards putting Sean O’Leary on the mound.
“We talked before Game 2 that we had to play the same focus and intensity and get key hits and make defensive plays,” Hillgrove coach Dave Richardson said. “You’re playing the defending state champ. They’re going to come back and fight and compete, and they did.”
Both games were won in the sixth inning.
Hillgrove (24-8) overcame a pitchers’ duel between its starter, Chase Adkins, and Parkview’s Matt Olson in the first game by scoring four runs in the sixth.
Adkins’ twin brother, Chad, got it started with a solo home run over the left field wall. Later in the frame, with runners on second and third with one out, Brian Johnson delivered an RBI hit, and Dwayne Carroll followed with a two-run single.
After Hillgrove’s Game 2 starter, Tyler Graham, carried a one-hitter into the sixth inning of the nightcap, Parkview (26-6) began mustering hits.
It started with a two-run home run by Olson, and Jarrett Freeland scored Parkview’s third run of the inning on a sacrifice fly by Ryan Blanton.
“Matt’s done a lot for us,” Parkview coach Chan Brown said. “(Hillgrove) has had his number all night long, and I’m glad he came through when he did.”
The first game showed hints of a potential blowout in Parkview’s favor when Josh Hart hit a two-run home run over the right-field wall in the first inning. Edwin Arias on base after opening the game with a single.
Chase Adkins settled and kept Parkview off the scoreboard until the top of the seventh. Hillgrove played stellar defense behind him, particularly at shortstop, where Wesley Drain made a couple of key plays to save hits.
Hillgrove tied the game at 2-all in the third on RBI hits by Tyler Weyenberg and Tyler Mauzy, who was 3-for-3 in Game 1.
Adkins worked 6 1/3 innings, giving up three runs on six hits. He walked four and struck out three to get the win. Reliever Nick Andrews came in with the bases loaded in the seventh and recorded the final two outs by inducing groundouts from Olson and Freeland.
“Our kids competed (after the first inning) and were resilient,” Richardson said. “We had some really good at bats. Nick Andrews came in a tough spot (in the seventh), facing the heart of their lineup, and we were able to get some outs from some key hitters.”
Hillgrove had seven hits in the nightcap, but it couldn’t get enough timely hits off Parkview starter Jesse Foster. The Hawks stranded a baserunner in every inning except the sixth.
The Hawks’ biggest scoring opportunity came in the fourth, when Matthew Vaccaro and Tyler Graham led off with singles. Brian Johnson then tried to lay down a bunt to advance the runners, but the ball caught in the air by Foster, who then completed the double play by throwing out Vaccaro at second.
“Our kids fought and competed,” Richardson said. “We just didn’t hit with runners in scoring position.”
Olson had three RBIs in the second game, his first coming in the first inning on a groundout that scored Arias. Hillgrove tied it up in the fifth on an RBI hit by Chad Adkins.