Parker's state opponent has strong pedigree
Janesville Parker qualified for the WIAA state baseball tournament for the first time since 1992.
Tuesday morning’s opponent, Bay Port, is making its third straight trip to Grand Chute and its eighth in the last 12 years. The Pirates won back-to-back state titles in 2009 and 2010 and were runners-up in 2012.
Does that give Bay Port an advantage?
Parker coach Brian Martin doesn’t think so.
“This is a different team with different players,” Martin said. “Obviously, they have some kids back with state experience, but it still comes down to executing and making plays.”
Bay Port won the Fox River Classic Conference with a 16-4 record and brings an overall mark of 22-6 into Tuesday’s quarterfinal game. The Pirates have won 11 of their last 12 games but needed to rally late in their sectional semifinal game to beat Wausau West, 9-8.
“They’re a team that likes to play small ball,” Martin said. “They bunt a lot and won their sectional game with a suicide squeeze and aren’t afraid to move runners along.
“But I don’t think they’re going to be much different than playing a Sun Prairie or a Middleton. They’re going to play solid defense, have a couple of pretty good pitchers and are a pretty good hitting team.”
Bay Port is hitting .301 as a team. Junior Tucker Noe leads the team in hitting with a .412 average, while Mac Cisar is batting .324 with a team-high three home runs.
Junior Connor Hock or junior Dakota Klein will likely get the start on the mound. Klein is 7-0 on the season with a 0.90 ERA, while Hock is 5-0 with a 0.72 ERA. Bay Port’s team ERA is an impressive 1.89. Klein and Hock have a combined 128 strikeouts in 97 innings.
Parker and Bay Port have no common opponents. The Pirates’ losses were to Ashwaubenon, Pulaski, Green Bay Preble, Kenosha Bradford, Green Bay Notre Dame and West De Pere.
“We’ll be ready,” Martin said. “We’ve proven all year that we can play with anybody. This is another test for us.”