As a to-be senior pitcher with varsity experience the past two spring seasons, Isaac Parks sees himself as the ace of the staff next year for the Boulder High baseball team.
There are steps to that process though, one of which is being able to trust certain pitches no matter what the count. On Friday night as the Boulder Legion A team took on Denver East in a late doubleheader at Scott Carpenter Park, Parks’ curveball was devastating to his foes.
Behind his 10 strikeouts, Boulder Legion A defeated East 10-1 in the opener of a league set, and on most of those strikeouts Angels hitters appeared badly fooled.
“It was easier to locate a curveball in the later innings, and that made it easier to get strikeouts,” Parks said. “A lot of them were rolling over, and I started locating later in the count. I trust that more than my fastball.”
Parks went 1-2 with a 4.20 earned-run average in the spring, but looked like a much different pitcher on Friday night as Boulder Legion A went to 12-8 overall. He did struggle early with location on the outside of the plate, but once he found the right release point he was virtually unhittable.
Only one of the three hits he allowed left the infield. He also threw first-pitch strikes to 15 batters, mostly from the fourth inning on, and that paid huge dividends.
“It looked almost like he didn’t loosen up enough at first … but he was so much better the last three innings than he was the first three or four,” head coach Bob Bote said. “He’s got some good pitches, and when he throws strikes and works ahead, he’s tough.”
With the Boulder National Invitational Tournament just around the corner — not to mention several league contests over the next few days — Bote’s group is seeing the ball well at the plate, too.
They pounded out 13 hits in Friday’s opener, with Adam Stowe’s opposite-field double plating two runs in the second inning to get the offense heated up. In the fourth, Marcus Graves, Montana Guegan and Mason Hitz produced three consecutive doubles as part of a four-run rally.
Every spot in the lineup had a hit, and Graves, Luke Feigal and Brendan Van Haute each had two.
“We squared up the ball really good and got enough runs to take care of things,” Bote said. “Those three doubles in a row, that was exciting.”
“The ultimate goal, because we’re in the regional at the end (of the summer season), is trying to hit our stride at that point,” said Feigal, who went 2 for 3 with a run knocked in. “We’re working towards that. We were able to hit the ball hard and well, and Isaac just did great.”
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Boulder Legion A 10, Denver East 1
At Scott Carpenter Park (Game 1)
Denver East 001 000 0 — 1 3 4
Boulder 132 400 x — 10 13 0
W — Isaac Parks. L — Squilante.
Denver East hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Cook 4-1-1-0, Pojar 1-0-0-0, Harned 2-0-0-0, Squilante 2-0-2-0, Harris 2-0-0-0, Hamlin 3-0-0-0, East 3-0-0-0, Sachnoff 2-0-0-0, Curnow 1-0-0-0, Schor 2-0-0-0. Totals 22-1-3-0.
Boulder hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Derek Cunningham 4-1-1-0. Brendan Van Haute 4-1-2-1, Aiden Chandler 4-0-1-0, Marcus Graves 3-2-2-1, Montana Guegan 3-2-1-1, Mason Hitz 3-2-1-1, Cam Mainland 2-1-1-0, Isaac Parks 2-0-1-0, Luke Feigal 3-1-2-1, Adam Stowe 2-0-1-3, Luke Bote 1-0-0-0. Totals 31-10-13-8. 2B — Graves, Guegan, Hitz, Stowe. SB —Van Haute 2, Graves.
Denver East pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Squilante 3.1-10-10-8-3-1, Curnow 2.2-3-0-0-0-1.
Boulder pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Parks 7-3-1-1-5-10.