Parish, pitching leads NilesPublished 11:09pm Tuesday, May 29, 2012
STEVENSVILLE — Tyler Parish doubled, homered and drove in five runs as Niles advanced to the Division 2 baseball semifinals with an 8-3 win over Dowagiac Tuesday.
Parish hit a three-run home run in the first inning after Connor Glick and Tate Brawley had reached base with singles.
The Vikings catcher then picked up a two-run double in the seventh inning to help ice the game for Niles.
Not only did the Vikings finish the game with 12 hits, they also got three solid pitching performances out of starter Taylor Campbell, Brawley and Mitchell Dehn.
Campbell got the start and worked two innings to pick up the victory. Brawley pitched the next three innings before giving way to Dehn in the sixth. Dehn earned a save.
“I thought we played like we hadn’t played in a week,” Niles coach Mike Vota said. “We were crisp. We weren’t clean. We did some good things, but we struck out too much. We didn’t move the ball a couple of times. A couple of situations when we needed to, we didn’t get bunts down when we needed to. Those are things we got away with today.”
Vota was referring to Dowagiac pitcher Cal Cox when he mentioned the Vikings struck out too many times as the Chieftain hurler fanned 10 in six innings of work.
Dowagiac started Ryne Willming, who worked into the second inning, but gave up four runs on five hits. Cox came on with one out in the second and gaved up a double before striking out the next two hitters.
“We wanted to give them some off-speed,” Dowagiac coach Bob Turner said about the decision to start Willming over Cox. “Ryno pitched really good against Berrien Springs and kept the ball low. They figured they were gearing up and they pull the ball a lot. He didn’t keep it low enough the first inning. Then we went with Cox.”
Vota said he wasn’t surprised by Dowagiac’s decision not to start Cox.
“The scouting report on us would probably show we struggle against soft lefties,” he said. “They tried a soft lefty and we got on them early. Then it was enough to ride into the rest of the game.”
Matthew McLaughlin finished with three hits, including a double, and drove in a run for the Vikings, who will now face Lakeshore in the second semifinal Saturday at 12:30 p.m.
St. Joseph edged Benton Harbor 7-6 in the first game Tuesday. The Bears will take on Berrien Springs at 10 a.m. The championship game is set for 3 p.m.
Niles 310 101 2 – 8 12 0
Dowagiac 010 200 0 – 3 5 5
Taylor Campbell (W), Tate Brawley (3), Mitchell Dehn (S, 6) and Tyler Parish; Ryne Willming (L), Cal Cox (2) and Brett Scanlon
2B: Matthew McLaughlin (N), Parish (N)
HR: Parish (N)
Niles 18-13-1, Dowagiac 9-25-1