Northeast Florida Sports Jacksonville

2016 Year In Review: Terry Parker Rallys to Defeat Ridgeview in Baseball Regional Semifinals

Terry Parker High School – With one inning to play and his team down by four runs, Terry Parker fan Joe Jennings stopped me as I walked by and said ” Terry Parker is winning this game”. Odds were certainly against his team trailing 9-5 in the 7th inning of the FHSAA Class A Regional Semifinals. Especially considering the team they faced was one of the best in the state.

Ridgeview is a confident team with a considerable following. Their parents and fans packed over half of the Terry Parker bleachers Tuesday Night, and that support undoubtedly aided the Panthers early onslaught over the Braves. Ridgeview jumped out to an incredible 8-2 lead after four innings. They capitalized on early ERAs by Parker to score their first three runs leading 3-0. Ridgeview controlled the game from the mound yielding only three runs in five innings.

Terry  Parker would make the game closer in the 5th by scoring a run, making it 8-3. In the bottom of the sixth inning, Parker would score two more runs to inch even closer 8-5. Yet Ridgeview did not seem to be phased, as the first batter up for them in the top of the 7th, smashed a triple to center field wall. This set up the next batter who laid down the perfect bunt bringing in the ninth run of the evening for the Panthers. Everything seemed well in hand for the 6A district 4 champs, all they would have to do is close out the game in the bottom of the 7th.

Going into the bottom of the inning, Terry Parker did not panic. Their coaches were optimistic and encouraging which resonated throughout the team. This may have been the deciding factor in the contest, as Terry Parker’s confidence grew, Ridgeview’s confidence shrank with each play of the 7th…

Tyler Rourke was patient at the plate, and his patience paid off as Ridgeview walked him to first.

Ridgeview would get two outs on a strike out and a ground out. Needing just one more out and leading by four runs, it all fell apart right in front of the capacity crowd’s eyes.

Ridgeview elected to walk the Terry Parker batter, loading the bases. The thinking here was to allow the new pitcher to start fresh needing just one out to win the game.It was a big gamble for Coach John Sgromolo, that unfortunately for his team would backfire.

After walking the Parker batter and bringing in the tying run, Ridgeview was completely unraveled from the dugout to the out field. The next play would sum up the 7th inning all together.

Terry Mims would confidently walk to home plate as the home crowd went wild, after the wild throw by the Panther catcher. The catcher attempted to make a play at third against Mims, however the throw would get away from him. With it the chance for Ridgeview to play for a regional championship. Terry Parker completed what many said in attendance was the best baseball game they’ve witnessed in Braves history. It certainly falls into that category as Terry Parker prevailed 10-9 and advanced to play Mosley in the 1-6A Regional Finals.