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Parker returns to winner’s circle

06/06/2014, 9:52pm PDT
By John Maffei

Lancers need nine innings to defeat Mt. Carmel for San Diego Section Division III title

Pitcher Jon Vizcaino, catcher Hayden Hastings and Jake Wiegand (21) start the celebration after Francis Parker clinched the Division III title.

After nine innings, a bloop and a blast brought home a title for Francis Parker.

Hayden Hastings’ infield single drove in one run to break a 10th-inning tie and Jon Vizcaino’s two-run triple into the right-field corner scored two more as the Lancers edged Mt. Carmel 6-4 to win the San Diego Section Division III championship Friday at USD’s Fowler Park.

It’s the first baseball title for Parker since 2007.

With the game tied 3-3 through nine innings, Austin Rogers singled to start the Parker 10th and was sacrificed to second. With two outs and a runner at third, Nate Glasser walked and Hastings hit an infield roller. Third baseman Jack Melton had no play as the go-ahead run scored.

“I was running as fast as I could to beat it out,” said Hastings, who drove in three runs on the day. “Give all the credit to the guys ahead of me to put me in that position.”

Vizcaino followed with a triple, scoring two.

“I was struggling at the plate, but the coaches told me the pitcher was going to start me with off-speed stuff, then come back with a fastball,” Vizcaino said. “He left one up, I went with the pitch and was able to drop it into right.”

Until the 10th, Mt. Carmel’s Justin Valdez had handcuffed Parker (22-9), retiring 13 batters in a row, including five straight on strikeouts, from the fifth through the ninth.

“Our guy threw a great game,” said Mt. Carmel coach Chachi Mueller, who returned seven starters from last year’s Division IV champions. “We had some chances, battled them to the end. But their kid threw really well, too.”

Left-hander Grant Shives, who improved to 9-1, allowed eight hits over nine innings. He surrendered three runs, only one earned.

“I was mentally prepared for this game,” Shives said. “I knew Mt. Carmel was good, so I was ready for a fight.

“I knew runs would be at a premium.”

Mt. Carmel (21-14) scored three times in the second with the help to two Parker errors.

Shives then threw seven shutout innings, retiring nine in a row from the fifth to the eighth.

“I got through the second inning and was able to settle down,” said Shives, who had thrown 80 pitches through eight innings and finished with 95. “It was my job to held ’em.

“I knew my defense would do the job. I knew we’d score some runs.”

Mt. Carmel scored a run in the 10th on a single by Kory Fox and an RBI double by Brody Prows. Valdez walked with two out to put the tying run on base.

But Vizcaino got the next batter on a grounder to third.

“It was a little nerve-racking in that last inning,” Vizcaino said. “But we were lucky enough to get that last out and win it.”

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