Polk falls short in pitching duel with Owen
Published 7:29 am Wednesday, March 30, 2016
It was a pitcher’s duel made in heaven — for Owen fans, as the Warhorses put together just enough offense to defeat Polk County, 3-0, at Columbus, on Tuesday, March 29.
For four innings, Wolverines’ starting pitcher Avery Edwards kept Owen off the scoreboard while Owen’s Brady Parker turned away Polk.
Polk is now 4-9 overall, and 1-4 in Western Highlands Conference play, but head coach Ty Stott sees good things in his players, including increased intensity.
In the visitors’ fifth, Owen bunched together a long double to the gap in left center, with a sacrifice bunt, a steal of second (with the lead runner taking third), and a sacrifice fly. On that steal, the throw from Polk catcher Sedric Pickett seemed to nail the runner, but the base umpire did not agree.
That burst gave the Warhorses a 2-0 lead, and all the runs they needed, though they added a single run in the sixth.
Polk coach Ty Stott eventually replaced Edwards with Tyler Harris, who also pitched well.
In all, Polk, which had won its previous two games by a total of 29-1, could manage just three hits off of Parker, who mixed smoke and breaking balls. Holden Owens had one of those hits, while Pickett had two.
Perhaps the best at-bat of the game was Owens’ in the home sixth. With two strikes on him, and with Parker throwing faster than most of Polk’s opponents, Owens fouled off numerous pitches, including going with one of Parker’s bullets, punching it just foul down the right field line. Parker then got the disgusted Owens looking on a slow breaking pitch.
Of Parker, who pitched a complete-game shutout, Stott noted, “He was definitely throwing mid-80s. He dominated. He definitely controlled the game.
Stott noted that the Warhorses “were opportunistic about scoring runs. We weren’t.” Polk’s 13 strikeouts did not sit well with Stott (“That’s too many”), though he noted that they seldom see a pitcher like Parker, whom he observed “got better as the game went on . . . Owen is a very good team.”
Don’t write off the Wolverines, who showed Stott a good deal of real enthusiasm.
“As long as we keep competing,” Stott emphasized, “we’ll win our share of ballgames. It’s about competing.”