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Parkway Christian supplies the offense, Banks gets the win in D4 title game

By: Tom Markowski, June 18, 2016, 5:44 pm

East Lansing – Sterling Heights Parkway Christian did what it’s done throughout on Saturday – score often and early.

The Eagles scored five runs in the second inning and Pierce Banks came in relief to close the door on Portland St. Patrick allowing Parkway Christian claim its first state title.

“In the playoffs, we’ve been playing awesome offensively,” Parkway Christian coach Rich Koch said. “It settles the nerves. You don’t press.”

The Eagles outscored their tournament opponents 64-9. It started in the first inning of the district semifinal when Parkway Christian scored six runs in the first off of Bloomfield Hills Roeper in an 11-0 victory.

Starting pitcher Riley McManus’ two-run double capped off that second and Parkway Christian (23-11-1) defeated St. Patrick, 10-3, in the Division 4 championship game on Saturday at Michigan State’s McLane Stadium.

Jacob Bambrick had an RBI single in the second and the Eagles scores their second run on a double steal. Banks’ RBI double preceded McManus’ double.

In 2009 Parkway Christian lost to Beal City, 3-1, in its only other final appearance.

St. Patrick (34-8) is 0-4 in its final appearances.

McManus didn’t have much trouble in the first two innings but a bad case of wildness forced coach Rich Koch to move Banks from shortstop to the mound in the third.

“Today marks six months since he had ACL surgery,” Koch said. “It was a lack of mileage. We had Pierce in our back pocket. I didn’t think Pierce could go all the way. I thought five innings was doable.”

Banks said it took the team awhile to get into a flow offensively. And once they did they never turned back.

“In the beginning of the season we were scoring like one or two runs a game,” he said. “Then we played Roeper. That got us going. We just got hot at the right time.”

Parkway Christian had 13 hits. Banks, Andrew Manier, Austin Fuller, Alex Julio and Bambrick all had two.

Travis Moyer lasted two innings for St. Patrick (23-8) and he gave up seven hits and six runs.

Brendan Schrauben was the lone Shamrock player with two hits.

“They had some great arms,” St. Patrick coach Bryan Scheurer said of Parkway Christian. “They could run, throw and hit. We had a couple of opportunities to prevent that big inning and we couldn’t come up with the play.”