Pitching took center stage Saturday for Janesville Parker’s baseball team.
Backed by strong outings from Jared Emerson and Cav Mair, Parker swept a nonconference doubleheader from River Valley at Riverside Park.
Emerson dominated during a complete-game three-hitter in Game 1 to lead the Vikings to a 3-0 win. Mair followed with another gem in Game 2 as Parker rolled to a 12-2 victory.
Parker, which had lost three games earlier in the week, evened its season record at 3-3.
First-year coach Kerry Michaels couldn’t have scripted a better performance from his team Saturday. The Vikings were solid defensively, got two great outings from their starting pitchers and were productive at the plate.
“I think the one thing that stands out today is the fact that in 13 innings, our pitchers walked only two batters,” Michaels said. “That’s impressive.
“And it was nice to see the bats get going a little bit and have some success at the plate. It was a nice step forward today, and hopefully, we can build on it.”
Emerson was the story in game one. The junior left-hander struck out eight and allowed only two runners to reach third base. He retired the side in the four of the seven innings, including a 1-2-3 seventh, with the game ending on his eighth strikeout.
“I was able to stay consistent and keep the ball low in the zone,” Emerson said. “And although I couldn’t throw my curveball for a strike early in the game, I got better with it as the game went on.
“I felt pretty good warming up, and I feel like I got stronger each inning. And the defense played great behind me. I didn’t feel like I had to do a whole lot but throw strikes because they were making all the plays.behind me.”
Parker got the only run it needed the first game on Dylan King’s sacrifice fly in the first inning. The Vikings added single runs in the second and the fifth.
In Game 2, Parker jumped out to a 6-0 lead after two innings and coasted to the win. Emerson and Kober Madsen drove in three runs each, while Mair picked up his first varsity win. The senior left-hander struck out seven and did not walk a batter.
Casey Stone’s double and an Emerson sac fly pushed Parker’s lead to 8-0 in the third. The game ended in the sixth on Emerson’s RBI single, an RBI double from Madsen and a River Valley fielding error.
Parker is scheduled to play crosstown rival Janesville Craig on Tuesday and Thursday at Riverside.
“If we compete like we did today and keep our composure, we’ll be fine,” Michaels said.
PARKER 3, RIVER VALLEY 0
River Valley 000 000 0—0 3 1
Janesville Parker 110 001 x—3 5 1
Runyan, Esser (5) and Rose; Emerson and Klukas
SO—Runyan 1, Emerson 8. BB—Runyan 2, Emerson 2
PARKER 12, RIVER VALLEY 2 (6)
River Valley 000 011—2 6 2
Janesville Parker 303 213—12 9 0
Jewell, Hying (4) and Rose; Mair and Stone
Leading hitters—Krizan (RV) 3x3, Emerson (P) 2x2, Madsen (P) 2x4. 2B—Krizan, Paulus (RV), Emerson, Madsen, Stone (P).
SO—Jewell 1, Mair 7. BB—Jewell 3, Hying 3.