By GREG KEIM
THE GOSHEN NEWS
Westview junior pitcher Judah Zickafoose was sharp. Angola senior hurler Skylar Parker was sharper.
Parker tossed a one-hitter as the Angola Hornets defeated the Westview Warriors, 1-0, in the championship game of the NECC high school baseball tournament Saturday afternoon at Westview.
Angola captured the Michael Fielder Memorial Trophy in honor of the long-time Eastside coach who died of cancer in 1996.
“This is a tough one, especially from the standpoint of how we have been hitting the ball this season. This is shocking considering how we have been hitting the ball,” Westview coach Jason Rahn said. “Judah threw a good game. The Angola kid was just a little better.”
The Warriors advanced to the championship game with a 15-1 win Friday night at Eastside. The Hornets defeated the Fairfield Falcons 4-2 to make the finale.
Zickafoose allowed just five hits. He struck our five and walked one.
“Judah was on today,” Angola coach Jerry McDermid said.
“We took advantage of a situation.”
The coach was referring to Angola’s run in the fifth inning. Freshman Jake Roddy ripped a double to begin the frame.
The next batter did his job by moving Roddy to third with a ground out to second. Zickafoose then induced a fly to right center.
The Westview center fielder ran the ball down, but the ball just bounced off his glove and Roddy scored what proved to be the winning run.
“It was a very unfortunate error,” Rahn said.
“My feeling is we would have thrown the kid out at the plate. The runner on third didn’t look like he was ready to run if the ball had been caught. But that play was not the story of the game. We let too many first pitches go by. We never got our timing down. Letting pitches go like that is not our philosophy at all.”
Parker fanned 13 in picking up his fourth victory of the season.
Parker took a no-hitter into the bottom of the seventh before Zickafoose broke it up with a solid single to left. He stole second and third only to be stranded there as Parker whiffed the final Warrior hitters.
“Skylar (Parker) tossed a no-hitter on Monday so Zickafoose’s hit was the only one he allowed in two tournament outings,” McDermid said.
“With Zickafoose on base in the seventh we knew he was going to try and steal. We wanted Skylar to forget about him and bare down on the batters, which is what he did.” Rahn said.
“Early on we were overpowered by the fastball. The second time through the order we started getting some better swings. We were not making contact and then we began pressing. ...
“The top of our lineup has seen pitching like this before when they play summer ball. For some of the other guys this was a first time to see a pitcher like Parker.”
Parker allowed only two other Westview runners to reach safely. Zickafoose walked in the first and junior Hunter Christner drew a free pass in the second.
“We faced Parker last season and hit him,” Rahn said.
“We kept telling the kids if someone broke through it was going to open things up for us.
“We have to learn from this. If we what to win sectional and go anywhere in the state tourney we are going to see pitchers like this again. We are probably going to be seeing every team’s best pitcher.”
Westview played without one of its key players in junior Tarrin Beachy.
“He was playing third base in the game last night at Eastside and kid slide into the base and Tarring suffered a deep bruise on the his hand,” Rahn said.
“He needs to take a couple of days off. He would have either pitched or been at third today. It would have been nice to have him.”
Angola 000 010 0 — 1-5-0
Westview 000 000 0 — 0-1-1
Pitching: (Angola) Skylar Parker (W, 4-0) 13 strikeouts and two walks. (Westview) Judah Zickafoose (L, 0-2) five strikeouts and one walk.
Hitting: (Westview) Judah Zickafoose single, two stolen bases. (Angola) Jake Roddy double, single, run; Tyler Kennedy two singles, Skylar Parker single,