Park saw its three-game winning streak snapped and senior ace pitcher Tucker Novotny lost his first decision of the season in an 8-4 setback to visiting Mounds View Monday. The Wolfpack slipped to …
Park saw its three-game winning streak snapped and senior ace pitcher Tucker Novotny lost his first decision of the season in an 8-4 setback to visiting Mounds View Monday.
The Wolfpack slipped to 8-2 on the season with the loss, and fell a game behind leader Stillwater (9-1) in the Suburban East Conference baseball race.
Novotny and the Wolfpack struggled early and Mounds View jumped out to a 5-0 lead after the first inning.
“Honestly it was the slow start,” said Park head coach John McGowan. “It wasn’t how we wanted to start the game but I’m always proud of our guys who never quit, that’s kind of mentality, we never quit. You’re down five, it would have been easy to throw in the towel, but no. We never quit, which is good.”
Both the Park pitching and the defense settled down after that first-inning salvo by the Mustangs. The Wolfpack rallied to make a game of it by scoring one run in the third inning and three more in the fifth to close to 5-4.
Like the team, McGowan was pleased the way Novotny battled back after a shaky start.
“Again, mental toughness,” said McGowan. “He comes back and battles and shuts them down for the next four innings, give him credit for that.
“Proud of our guys, we just didn’t play clean like we normally do and that cost us a few runs in the game,” McGowan noted.
A Mounds View leadoff solo home run in the sixth took some of the wind out of the Park rally and then the Mustangs added two more runs in the top of the seventh to put the game away.
The Mustangs set the Wolfpack down in order in the sixth and seventh.
Novotny had a single and two RBIs for Park. Joshua Hatano had a double and a single, Jackson Weidner a double, Clayton Beaurline and William Smoot each had run-scoring singles.
Mounds View improved its record to 5-4.
Park plays at archrival East Ridge (5-5, 5-6) Wednesday, then hosts White Bear Lake (2-8, 2-10) on Friday, both games starting at 4:30 p.m.