For the second straight season, the Parker Baseball team has earned their way into the CIF Section Championship game, coming off a 2-1 semifinal victory over Ramona high school on Tuesday afternoon. The win was the 3rd in a row for the Lancers, who emerged from their half of the Division 2 playoff bracket undefeated with an opening round win over Sage Creek High School, and then back to back 1 run victories over Ramona.
In Tuesday's win, Senior pitcher Sterling Hayes threw 6 strong innings, improving his overall record on the season to 7-2, and lowering his season ERA to an outstanding 0.88. After giving up a run in the first inning, Hayes only allowed the Bulldogs 4 hits the rest of the way, while also striking out 7 batters. "I just executed my pitches better," Hayes said after the game. "The first batter I faced I threw a good pitch and the hitter had a great at bat. I missed my spots and walked the second batter, but after that inning I honed in on Michael Campangna, who called a great game, and executed my pitches just as I wanted to."
Hayes was also effective at the plate, smashing a solo home run over the left field fence to tie the game in the third inning. "It was my second at-bat, and the pitcher hadn't thrown me a fastball yet in the game, so I sat on fastball and took advantage.
Not to be outdone, fellow senior Michael Yourg also homered, putting the Lancers in front for good 2-1. Despite falling behind in the count initially, Yourg remained confident, stating "He was mixing up his pitches on me, but I was able to work the count back to 3-2. Once I got to that point, I knew he was gonna challenge me with the fastball so I just loaded up on that." The blast was Yourg's 8th home run of the season, placing him among the county leaders. It was also the 3rd consecutive game that he has sent one over the fence.
Head Coach David Glassey has been extremely proud of his senior class all year long. "I absolutely love the way those kids compete," Glassey said. "They are great kids who are fun to be around, but when the time comes, they are extremely competitive group, which has been a big reason for our success."
Hayes echoed his coaches' feelings, saying "This playoff season has been the greatest of my high school career. We are so focused as a team and everyone on the team is selfless in their team oriented efforts."
Tomorrow's championship game against Mission Hills High School will be the second in a row that the Lancers have played in, which has the team feeling confident and excited. "We know exactly what to expect with USD's field," said Yourg. "We've played on the big stage before, and I think we're ready to finish it off."
First pitch tomorrow is scheduled for 1pm at University Of San Diego's Fowler Park.by Matt Morrison