Needing a win to advance into the four-team regional tournament, the Parsons Vikings instead were bested by the Louisburg Wildcats 10-6 at Winway Park and saw their season end on Monday evening.
Parsons fell into an early 8-2 hole in the second inning as the Wildcats jumped on Vikings starting pitcher Ethan Houk.
“Without a doubt, Ethan hadn’t thrown in a baseball game in 17 days,” Parsons head coach Gerald Beardmore said. “We can throw bullpens all you want, but nothing is like the real game. He just didn’t have his stuff. It was a big situation for a sophomore.”
Parsons cut the deficit in half in the fourth inning with four runs crossing the plate, but the Vikings couldn’t push anymore offense across the rest of the game.
Louisburg pitcher Madden Rutherford earned the winning decision, going all seven innings and giving up eight hits and three earned runs with nine strikeouts.
Joel Schibi, a senior for Parsons, relieved Houk in the second frame and limited the Wildcats to just two more runs.
“Schibi kept us in the game on the mound,” Beardmore said. “He’s a bulldog. His work ethic was equal to none.”
Luke Wolgamott had two hits for the Vikings, as did Connor Eichinger and Zeke Lyons. Chase Langston scratched out two RBI.
Jakob Krause had two hits, runs and RBI for the Wildcats to lead Louisburg’s offense.
The loss leaves Parsons with a 3-11 record for the 2019 season, just one year removed from a third place finish at the state tournament.
Beardmore admitted after the game that this year fell short of expectations but was still glowing over a five-person senior class that included Wolgamott, Schibi, Eichinger, Jaden Ponce and Nolan Proehl.
“During the regular season, we got 13 games in,” Beardmore said. “We just couldn’t get any momentum going. We never got four games in four days where we could start playing ball. There were teams in the east that got 20 games in. We knew pitching wouldn’t be our strength. But our seniors put every ounce of effort into this program. I truly love every one of them. It makes me proud to have coached them.”
Louisburg will now face top seed Fort Scott in the KSHSAA 4A Regional Tournament.
As for Parsons, it now has to prep for the 2020 campaign with plenty of holes to fill.
“I’ll coach a 15-16-year-old team that’ll have a lot of kids that we have coming back this summer,” Beardmore said. “We’ve got four young arms that should get better. We’ll have to have guys step up. Our seniors were one-through-five in the order. So we’ll have some holes to fill.”
Two of the Vikings’ seniors, Wolgamott and Schibi, are signed to continue their baseball careers at the college level.
Wolgamott is headed to Neosho County.
“They’ve got a good one there at Neosho County,” Beardmore said. “Luke just wants to work. He doesn’t want to be average. He’ll be the best possible player he can be. He’ll do great at the college level with his focus being on baseball. He’s a great kid.”
As for Schibi, he’ll be staying in town to play for the Labette Cardinals.
“He’s been a three-sport standout for three years now,” Beardmore said. “Labette truly has a kid that’s coming from Parsons that can play college baseball. Joel will work harder than any other kid there, and that’s what he’ll have to do. He’s going to enjoy it so much.”
KSHSAA 4A REGIONAL
Louisburg 10, Parsons 6
Louisburg: 260 200 0 — 10
Parsons: 200 400 0 — 6
Parsons: Jaden Ponce 1 H, 1 R, 1 RBI; Luke Wolgamott 2 H, 1 R; Connor Eichinger 2 H, 1 RBI; Zeke Lyons 2 H, 1 R, 1 RBI; Ethan Houk 1 H, 1 R; Noah Ryan 1 RBI; Chase Langston 1 R, 2 RBI; Ethan Pellock 1 R; Houk (L) 1 IP, 5 H, 8 R, 7 ER, 0 K, 2 BB; Joel Schibi 6 IP, 9 H, 2 ER, 3 K, 2 BB
Louisburg: Jakob Krause 2 H, 2 R, 2 RBI; Beckett Rasmussen 1 H, 1 RBI; Madden Rutherford 1 H, 3 R, 1 RBI; Noah Larson 2 H, 1 R, 2 RBI; Matt Madison 2 H, 2 RBI; Andrew Krause 3 H, 1 R; Brandon Doles 1 R, 1 RBI; Michael Rogers 2 H, 1 R; Logan McClellan 1 H, 1 R; Rutherford (W) 7 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 9 K, 0 BB