Historic Parkland baseball season ends at World Series
A historic season for the 2016 Parkland College baseball team came to a disappointing end, as the Cobras were swept from the NJCAA D-2 World Series.
The Cobras made it to the World Series for the first time since 2010 after winning their first M-WAC title and Regional title.
The Cobras lost their first game in a 20-2 rout by Western Oklahoma. The Pioneers opened up a 5-1 lead in the first two innings as the Cobras committed three errors. The first proved costly, as Cobras starter Ross Learnard struck out the first two Pioneer batters, but then allowed back-to-back singles. An errant throw from the Cobras catcher allowed two runs to score, and then another hit quickly made it 3-0. The Cobras managed to push a run across in the bottom of the second, as a Joe Boyle fielders choice drove in Cole Taylor. But the Pioneers added 6 more runs the next inning and never looked back. Parkland pinch-hitter Donovan Chandler drove in the other run with an opposite field single in the fourth, but the game was well decided by then.
The next day, Parkland was playing for their postseason lives in an elimination game against Brunswick. While the score was closer, the Cobras fell to the Dolphins 6-3 and were eliminated.
Again the game started well for Parkland, as starter Brady Schanuel retired the first batter and was 0-2 on the second. However, he lost that batter with four straight balls to walk him. Going 0-2 on the next hitter, an off speed pitch got away and hit the batter. A wild pitch moved the runners to second and third, and a groundout gave the Dolphins a 1-0 lead. The next batter looped one down the left field line that stayed fair, scoring another run. Parkland managed a run in the bottom of the inning, but the third inning led to the game getting away from the Cobras. A Dolphins triple was followed by Schnauel throwing a grounder away for a two-base error. After a walk, Schnauel appeared to escape by striking out the next batter. However, the ball was dropped requiring a throw to first, and that throw was over the first baseman's head and into right field, allowing all three runners to score.
The game was primarily a pitching duel from then, but the damage had been done. Parkland ended the season with a very successful record of 45-16. Jones County defeated Gateway (Arizona) 7-1 to win the 2016 D-2 Championship.
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