Even top prospects such as Parker McFadden, with professional scouts gazing at the Yelm High School senior during each of his starts, needs reassurance now and then.
Coach Brady Hoover reminded his ace to have fun during his two mound visits in the Tornados’ 4-0 4A Narrows League baseball win at Olympia on Wednesday.
Topping out at 95 mph on his fastball, McFadden threw a complete game one-hitter, striking out a season-high 15 for Yelm (9-3 overall, 3-2 4A Narrows). But McFadden was concerned about walking four, the most he’s allowed in a game this season.
“I need to cut down on the walks and have more control,” McFadden said. “When I’m walking guys, that’s because I was getting too far on the side and I was getting on top of the ball. I made the adjustments in the sixth and seventh inning, and getting control a little bit more.”
It was back-to-back walks to start the sixth with Yelm’s lead at 2-0 that got him rattled a bit. Because those walks gave Olympia (3-7, 3-4) runners at the corners with no outs.
Hoover’s second trip to the mound to chat with McFadden again proved effective.
Just like the third inning when McFadden struck out the final two batters after starting the inning with a leadoff walk and a Hoover chat, he did one better in the sixth by striking out Mason Hopton, Ben Pedigo and Matt Anthony to end the threat.
Of the final 14 batters he faced from the fourth inning on, McFadden struck out 10. Scott Gunther’s leadoff single in the first inning was the Bears’ lone hit off McFadden.
Olympia stranded five runners, and the Bears struggled to take advantage of scoring opportunities, coach Steve Roth said.
“That’s been our (Achillies’) heel (this season),” he said.
Anthony, the Bears’ starting pitcher, was effective before being pulled after 61/3 innings, allowing three earned runs on five hits and four strikeouts.
Trailing2-0 after two innings, Anthony went three-plus without allowing a hit. But in the top of the seventh, Yelm’s Brandon Thompson hit an RBI tripleand scored on the play as the throw to third base sailed into the dugout, giving the Tornados a 4-0 lead.
Yelm is in second place, a half-game behind South Kitsap (4-2) entering Thursday’s rematch with Olympia in Yelm. After an 0-6 start, the Bears won three of their previous four league contests before Wednesday’s loss.
“If we get Yelm (Thursday), that would be huge to split with them,” Roth said. “It won’t make or break us, but you have to score some runs and put pressure on them.”
Anderson threw a complete game four-hitter with nine strikeouts and one walk. Black Hills took a 3-1 lead in the fourth inning on Nick Quartano’s RBI single to improve to 3-1 in conference play.
“It was a gutsy performance for a kid known as a reliever,” Venable said of Anderson.