PARKVILLE, Mo. – Park University sent its seniors away with a win, Friday afternoon at Comfort Field, getting a 3-for-4 outing with a double and a triple from Rafael Torres-Castillo and seven strong innings in relief from junior Jackson Longhofer, beating Hannibal-LaGrange University 7-2 to split a doubleheader with the Trojans at Comfort Field. HLGU won the first game of the day, coming from behind to beat Park 9-6.
Tim Schaareman had two hits in each game, and in game one, Shayne Kirkwood drove in a pair of runs, singling in Schaareman and Weston Jacobs in a three-run fourth inning that answered three in the top of the fourth from HLGU.
Park (23-24) led 3-0 when Torres-Castillo singled in Austin Giannola in the third, but the Trojans tied the game on Toure Parpit-Sinclair's home run in the fourth. Parpit-Sinclair drove in another run in the fifth, as the Trojans used one in the fifth, two in the sixth, and three in the seventh inning, ultimately beating reliever Carlos Valencia, who fell to 1-2, while Francisco Rivas picked up the win for HLGU and Matt Jones came in from the DH slot in the lineup to get his first save of the year.
Six Trojans had multiple hits in the game, including Antonio Cesin, who drove in two runs, going 3-for-5.
Hannibal-LaGrange controlled game two early, chasing Derek Watkins from the mound after only two innings on a pair of runs in the second.
The Pirates answered the runs in the third, when Jacobs scored on a wild pitch and Schaareman came home on a sacrifice fly from Kirkwood. Park took the lead in the sixth on Torres-Castillo's triple, bringing in Kirkwood and Giannola to start a four-run inning, followed by an RBI bunt off the bat of Nicolas Codemo and a throwing error that scored David White from third on Connor Whitney's stolen base.
Kirkwood later grounded in to a seventh-inning double play that tacked on another run, enough for Longhofer to win for the fifth time, dropping HLGU to 7-40 to end the year, 1-28 in the American Midwest Conference. Park closed its conference season at 11-18, failing to make the conference tournament for the second time in three seasons.
"It's very disappointing not going to the postseason, but I'm glad we were able to send these seniors off with one win today and bring them off the field the way we did in the ninth," said Park coach Cary Lundy. "For the returners, we have to find a way to get back to that tournament. This was a talented ballclub that lost too many close games."