Van Zandt fans 13 to lead Parker past La Follette

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John Barry
Tuesday, April 8, 2014

JANESVILLE--Hunter Van Zandt was in a zone Tuesday afternoon.

The Janesville Parker sophomore struck out 13 to lead the Vikings to a 9-6 win over Madison La Follette at Riverside Park in the Big Eight Conference opener for both teams.

Parker put the game away with five runs in the bottom of the fourth to open up an 8-2 lead.

Leadoff hitter Cullen Osmond scored four runs and stole four bases to ignite the Parker offense.

“Hunter walked the first batter of the game and hit the second, but after that, I thought he was really sharp,” Parker coach Brian Martin said. “He was overpowering with his fastball, at times, and when he got his curveball over for a strike, they weren’t hitting it.

“We were a little shaky the last inning, and that bothers me, but I thought we played pretty well all around the first six innings.”

With the game tied at 1-1, Parker took the lead for good with two runs in the third. Osmond reached on an error with one out and scored on Logan Coulter’s RBI triple. Coulter scored on Will Theisen’s single that made it 3-1.

La Follette cut the deficit to one in the fourth, but the Vikings responded with five runs in the bottom of the inning. Zach Bailey’s two-run double was the key blow as Parker batted around the order.

“We executed really well that inning,” Martin said of the five-run fourth. “We got a couple of bunts down, took advantage of an error and had a two or three clutch hits.

“The best thing about that inning was that the bottom of the order got it going for us. That’s the kind of balance we’re going to need.”

Van Zandt was on cruise control most of the game. The left-hander allowed the leadoff batter to score in the first, but retired nine straight after that. He had seven strikeouts through the first three innings. La Follette’s first hit was a bloop double down the right-field line leading off the fourth inning, and the Lancers managed only two hits off Van Zandt in six innings.

Parker plays at Madison Memorial on Thursday.

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