Baseball team takes a wild one from Hastings


Baseball season openers are often a wild and crazy affair. After a long offseason and preseason, nobody knows quite what to expect.
Park players and coaches certainly didn’t expect to score a 13-3 romp over visiting Hastings Friday in a game where the Wolfpack collected just six hits.
“That’s baseball,” said Park senior outfielder Brett Salmonson.
And that’s indeed what happened.
Park took advantage of Hastings pitching in a wild 11-run fourth inning where the Wolfpack had five singles, a double, were walked five times and had two players hit by pitches.
That made it an 11-3 game. Park then pushed across two game-ending runs in the bottom of the fifth to call it a day.
After a scoreless first three innings, Hastings grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth. Up until the fourth inning, Park had just three men reach base, all off walks, and no hits.
“I feel we had some pretty quality at-bats,” said Salmonson. “We were seeing the ball. If it was a bad pitch, we wouldn’t swing and if it was a good pitch, we tried to put the ball in play and when you put the ball in play good things happen.”
Park pitcher Adam Tait got the win on the mound. Tait and Max Kaplan combined for four strikeouts and gave up four hits.
“I saw that the ump was kind of calling low and away a lot, so I just tried to stay there, steady, and then I came after them with my slider, early on,” said Tait. “And then of course my boys in the field backed me up. I couldn’t have done it without them.
“First game of the season, we’ve been prepping all month really,” added Tait. “Preseason, offseason. We were ready. We came out firing. We’re going to take our walks, too. That’s just as important as hits.”
“Beginning of the year everybody is nervous and jitters for both guys, not throwing strikes consistently and that’s – we kind of got in their bullpen and they had a tough time finding the zone,” said Park head coach Dave Darr. “We were fortunate but the thing I like is that we didn’t chase, we didn’t really help them out. We were patient and we attacked the ball that we wanted to attack. And if they’re not going to throw strikes then we’ll just take our base and go station to station and we did that. So, I liked our approach at the plate in that we didn’t chase too much, and we were pretty patient with that. If you get a walk or get a base hit, you’re still on the base.”
Park resumes play Wednesday in a Suburban East Conference season opener at Irondale (0-0). Park then hosts Mounds View (0-0) on Friday, April 12, and plays at East Ridge (1-0) on Monday, April 15.