CRYSTAL LAKE – The end was almost predictable, given the way Crystal Lake South pitcher Tyler Parquette escaped damage in three of the four previous innings.
Crystal Lake Central had the bases loaded with one out in the seventh inning when Parquette showed why the double play is often referred to as a pitcher’s best friend.
Parquette induced a ground ball off a full count to the Tigers’ Matt Tegtmeier to shortstop Garrett Bright, who flipped to second baseman Tyler Hall, who fired to first baseman Max Meitzler to wrap up an 8-0 victory in the Gators’ Fox Valley Conference crossover baseball game Tuesday.
“I just kept it low,” Parquette said of most of his 92 pitches. “I kept it low and the fielders were there. My fastball was working and I located it well.”
South (9-0 overall, 6-0 FVC Valley Division) ended Central’s third, fifth and sixth innings with double plays, as well. Hall played some shortstop last season and was filling in for injured regular second baseman Will Fogel.
“It’s a little different throwing across your body [at second],” Hall said. “But it’s kind of the same deal. Bright’s a good shortstop, so it’s easy to flip to him.”
Bright started two double plays, Hall started one and Parquette (2-0) started the other.
“[Parquette] came right at us and he made the pitches when he had to, that’s the biggest thing,” Tigers coach Dan Badgley said. “We had guys on base and every time he’d get a ground ball.”
“Their defense was great,” Badgley said. “That was the difference. They made they plays when they had to, and we didn’t.”
The Gators broke the game open with five hits and five runs in the third inning. Max Meitzler drove in a run with his second sacrifice fly, Hall knocked in two with a single and Ryan Wilkening also singled in a run. Meitzler was 1 for 1 with four RBIs.
“We’re doing pretty well,” Bright said. “We have good teamwork. We’re hitting the ball hard and the pitching has been fantastic.”
The Gators have allowed two runs in their last five games.
“That was probably the best I’ve seen [Parquette] throw in a game,” Gators coach Brian Bogda said. “His fastball has so much natural movement on it that it’s tough sometime for our catcher to even catch it. They don’t get a very good swing on it and that caused a lot of double plays.”
Parquette struck out three, walked three and allowed four hits.