As soon as Parker Mushinski uncorked his body and turned on a fastball in Game 1 of the Class 3A Region II finals, everybody in the ballpark knew where that ball was headed.
The ball sailed over the fence in right field and disappeared into the trees at McKinney Boyd for a three-run home run that helped spark Argyle’s 15-3 win over Paris North Lamar.
Right before Mushinski stepped up to the plate in the second, Argyle went from looking at the bases loaded to runners on second and third with two outs.
Mushinski didn’t spoil the opportunity or the pitch down the middle. It was a welcome sight for not only for the Texas Tech signee but Argyle head coach Ricky Griffin.
“That was huge,” Griffin said. “We need him to start doing that — not necessarily put the ball over the fence, but hit the ball hard again. He’s been going through a little slump, so hopefully that’ll get him going.”
Coming into last night’s game the lefty and No. 3 hitter in Argyle’s batting order was hitting .381 with eight home runs and 34 RBIs.
But in nine postseason games, Mushinski was only batting .217 with six walks and six strikeouts (his on-base percentage was still .406).
Mushinski went 1-for-1 yesterday with a traditional walk and an intentional walk. The intentional walk was most likely issued to set up a potential double-play ball instead of pitching around Mushinski.
He said watching the ball clear the outfield wall felt good for his confidence.
“I’ve been seeing the ball a lot better lately,” Mushinski said. “I’ve been barely missing it, so it feels good to get back in the groove like I was at the end of the season.”
On the mound, Mushinski put in another strong performance. In three innings of work, the lefty tallied eight strikeouts, three walks and one earned run.
McDonald continues hitting tear
The other Argyle player to homer in Game 1 continued his torrid postseason stretch. Eagles junior centerfielder Cutter McDonald went 2-for-3 with six RBIs. He hit a three-run home run in the second inning and tripled in the third, driving in five of Argyle’s 12 runs during the second and third innings.
After last night’s performance, McDonald is batting .444 this postseason. Six of his 12 hits in the playoffs have been for extra bases.
Argyle in good position tonight
Despite having to go on the road for tonight’s Game 2, the Eagles will most likely send their ace to the mound to face North Lamar.
Unless something bizarre happens between now and 8 p.m., Argyle senior pitcher Drew Gooch will most likely face the Panthers.
Gooch comes into tonight’s game with an 8-0 record and a 0.74 ERA, 64 strikeouts and 14 walks. In the playoffs, Gooch is 4-0 with a 1.17 ERA.
But I’m sure North Lamar head coach Scott Igleheart feels great about who he’ll most likely be sending to the mound tonight. Igleheart will probably throw Brandon Dusenberry, a William Jewell signee. Dusenberry carries a 0.87 ERA into tonight’s contest.
I’ll be tweeting out updates at @Ben_Baby throughout the contest. But if you want to make the trek out to Paris, here’s where you need to go.