Game 1: Evangel 3, Park 0
Game 2: Park 7, Evangel 1
(SPRINGFIELD, Mo.) Christian Torres and Tyler Malcook collected two hits each in game two and Kyzer Hoover joined Malcook with two RBIs, helping Park to its first win of the 2014 season, a 7-1 win for senior right-handed hurler Derek Gordon, who went all seven innings with three hits and one unearned run, striking out five.
"Derek Gordon had a great outing, and this time the bats and gloves backed him up," said Park coach Cary Lundy. "I think this team woke up a little between games, because we didn't give that same kind of support to Milan Pleacher in game one."
Park (1-6) had chances in the opener, as Jake Smith went 2-for-3, but only four hits kept Park off the scoreboard and a pair of errors contributed to two of the three runs Pleacher (0-1) surrendered. He finished with two strikeouts, going a complete-game six innings.
Brandon Cobb and Nathan Jones had two hits each for the Crusaders, who got two in the first when Cobb scored after an infield single, followed by Jones' RBI ground ball that brought in courtesy runner Brett Miller, who came on after catcher Darin Francis singled in front of Luis Maldonado in left field.
Evangel added another run in the fifth when Miller crossed for a second time, this time coming in on a misplayed ground ball at second base by Kirk Pruitt. Park had a chance in the top of the second with the bases loaded, but a ground ball double-play off Pruitt's bat ended the threat, and Park finished the game leaving nine on base. Cory Neill got the Evangel win, going seven innings with a strikeout and five walks.
The Crusaders used a first-inning run in game two to take a one-run lead when Cobb scored for a second time, coming in on an RBI-groundout by Christian Maciel. Park answered in the second, though, beginning when JoJo Garcia-Fortuna came home when Miller's throw went wild on Malcook's ground ball, moving Malcook in to scoring position and evening the game 1-1.
Malcook later scored on Shaun Williams' infield single, and Williams came home, along with Pruitt, on a two-run, two-out single off Hoover's bat. Another run came home in the fifth when Garcia-Fortuna went to second on a passed ball, later scoring on Malcook's single to center field. Park added its last bit of insurance in the seventh inning, beginning when Torres walked and later scored on a two-base error by Crusader shortstop Jacob Garrison. Later in the inning, Malcook brought Garcia-Fortuna home for a second time, this time with a run-scoring ground ball.
Gordon's win moved his career win total to a Park-record 19-6, 1-1 in 2014, and Crusader starter Jacob Shipman took the Evangel loss, giving up four unearned runs in the game.
Park returns to the road Sunday afternoon, traveling to Oklahoma City University to take on the fifth-ranked Stars in a doubleheader set to begin at 1 p.m.