Welcome back: Suter, Barry return to diamond
JANESVILLE The Janesville Craig and Parker High baseball teams have been eyeing a way to make their final meeting of the season a bit more special.
A glimpse at the programs' up-and-coming talent as well as a look back to yesteryear should provide that touch tonight.
The schools' junior varsity teams will play at Riverside Park at 4:30 p.m., with the varsity teams following under the lights at 7 p.m. Prior to the start of the varsity game, the Vikings and Cougars will honor former coaches Dale Barry and Bob Suter by having them on hand and in uniform to throw out the first pitches.
"We've talked about the second game of the season and getting the JVs down there and the varsity teams under the lights," Craig coach Vic Herbst said. "We're just looking forward to doing something new. And it'll just be neat to see (the former coaches) there, honoring all that they've done.
"Hopefully it'll be fun, and hopefully it'll grow from here."
Barry was the first-ever varsity baseball coach at Parker. He later went on to spend 15 years as the Janesville School District's athletics director. He was also a seven-time state champion American Legion coach.
Suter coached the Cougars for 37 seasons, guiding them to three state championships and two runner-up finishes at state. He amassed a 468-215 career record before stepping down in 2004.
"We're going to try and suit them up and I think they're going to say a something before the game and throw out the first pitch," Parker coach Brian Martin said. "It's a Parker-Craig game, so no matter what, it's going to be a good game."
Craig won the first meeting of the season, 12-7.
It's a busy final week of the regular season for the area's Division 1 teams, which kick off WIAA tournament play on Tuesday.
The Cougars earned the No. 3 seed in their sectional and will host the winner of Milton and Verona on May 30.
"We're just hoping we can start putting some complete games together," Herbst said. "When we put together solid games, we haven't lost.
"It's all about how you're playing at the end."
Parker is the No. 9 seed in the same sectional and travels to take on Madison Memorial on May 28.
"I think we are moving in the right direction," Martin said. "We just need to figure out how to win a game. All those one-run losses, I think sometimes it comes down to us not having the confidence to get it done. We're better than 4-15."