The Parkway Panthers’ outstanding season came to a close in the second round of the Class 5A playoffs Saturday in Baton Rouge.
One day after no-hitting the Wildcats in game one of the best-of-three series, the Panthers were swept 14-6 and 13-1 in five innings. Central (24-11-1), the No. 8 seed and defending state champion, won the series two games to one and will face No. 1 Zachary in the quarterfinals.
Parkway won game one on Friday 2-0 behind a combined no-hitter by George Booras and Eric Brown.
Parkway, the No. 9 seed, finished 25-10. The 25 wins were the most since 1998, according to Parkway coach David George. Parkway also won a playoff game for the first time since 2011, defeating Ponchatoula 2-1 in the first round in addition to Friday’s win.
“I just know these guys put Parkway back on the map in baseball,” George wrote in a Twitter post. “One weekend does not define what we are and what we stand for.”
The Panthers got off to a good start in the first game Saturday and led 3-1 after two innings. But the Wildcats took control with six runs in the top of the third.
Central extended the lead to 10-3 after 5 1/2 innings. Parkway tried to mount a rally, scoring one in the fourth and two in the fifth to cut the lead to 10-6. But the Wildcats added four more in the top of the seventh.
Eric Williams, a Southern University signee, went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI. Eric Brown went 2-for-3 with a double. Derious Bradford also had two hits. Matthew McKee had two RBI.
Parkway took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning in the second game, but things went downhill from there. Central scored two in the first, three in the second, six in the third and two in the fourth.
The Panthers got just four hits off Brant Husser, who struck out 10. Amani Larry had a double.
George Booras and Eric Brown combined on a no-hitter in a 2-0 victory over Central in game one of their best-of-3 Class 5A second-round series Friday in Baton Rouge.
Booras went 6 1/3 innings. He struck out eight and walked three. Parkway coach David George replaced Booras with Eric Brown after Booras hit two straight batters with one out in the bottom of the seventh.
Brown proceeded to strike out the final two batters for the save.
Parkway scored single runs in the first and third innings.
Amani Larry led off the game with a single and advanced to second on an error. Eric Brown followed with a single, moving Larry to third.
Eric Williams’ sacrifice fly scored Larry.
Larry also led off the third with a single. He moved to second on Eric Williams’ one-out single. Larry then stole third and scored on a bunt perfectly placed down the first-base line by Caleb Reese
Reese made a key defensive play in the bottom of the first, throwing a runner out at third with one out just before Booras issued a walk that would’ve loaded the bases.
The Wildcats put a runner on third thanks to an error, but Booras got out of the inning unscathed with a strikeout.
In the third, Central put runners on first and second thanks to a walk and error. But Booras got two strikeouts and a lineout to end the threat.
Booras retired the next nine Wildcats.
Parkway had other chances to put runs on the board, but the Panthers left seven on base, including two at third.
NOTE: The above report was based on information in Parkway’s official GameChanger account.
— Russell Hedges, firstname.lastname@example.org