Jake Parker Pushes Limits in Whitehouse’s 7-3 Win Against Pine Tree at Lobo Classic
LONGVIEW — Several opposing baseball coaches at Longview’s Lobo Classic Challenge mentioned Whitehouse’s continuity as they watched the second-ranked 4A team in the state fight its way to a 7-3 win Friday against Pine Tree.
The Wildcats seem to stick together, and that could have been a source of success in deep playoff runs for the school in football and boy’s basketball. Patrick Mahomes, Nate Brooks, Ryan Cheatham, Eric Munoz and the very intriguing Jake Parker all played on a football team that reached the 4A Division II Region II Semifinals.
“They’re all friends and that’s the great thing about it,” skipper Derrick Jenkins said. “They play everything together and they play a lot of sports. They get to compete every day. So when they get to us they’re already ready for a high level because they’ve had a full year of it.
“Football and baseball just go hand-and-hand so much because of what football does with the baseball program. It’s a big help for me right there and from them coming from that atmosphere to mine ready to play baseball.”
Parker. What can you say?
He’s headed to Tyler Junior College for the 2014 fall semester in hopes of attracting Division I interest after recording the second-most receiving yards in East Texas this past season. He then was a major contributor in Whitehouse’s nice basketball playoff run.
He also has some pizzazz on the diamond as an all-purpose player and closing pitcher.
Parker was asked to start against Pine Tree and turned in a five-hit, three-walk, two-run performance through 4.1 innings of work. He also recorded two base hits with an RBI.
“He’s such a competitor,” Jenkins said. “His demeanor on the mound is a great thing. He’s not a starter for me. He’s more of a closer type kid that comes and gets you two or three outs to finish up a game, but it’s great to have him as a guy who’s sitting at your four or five right now.”
Whitehouse and the seven other teams involved in the three-day, multiple-game setting are being stretched thin from the starting pitcher standpoint. Parker got the nod in the only all-East Texas game of the day.
“Today was his day to start,” Jenkins said. “That’s his second start of the year. He’s got two wins and has thrown well. He got to the fifth inning in both of them. If Jake can get me to the fifth inning, I feel pretty good about things.”
The Wildcats and Pirates, both suited out in camo uniforms, traded a run in the third inning with solid pitching from Parker and Pine Tree’s John Cravey.
Whitehouse opened the game up with a five-run fourth inning.
Parker’s single broke the 1-1 tie, catcher Rex Swinney walked, and Brooks delivered the major blow with a two-RBI base hit before Caleb McNutty played into a one-out fielder’s choice to score Swinney.
The Wildcats added another run in the top of the fifth before Pine Tree’s Chris Chadwick and Britton Thomas put together back-to-back doubles to end Parker’s day on the mound and spearheaded a two-run bottom fifth.
Whitehouse moved to 9-0 on the year.
The Wildcats wrap up the Lobo Classic Challenge at 9 a.m. Saturday against El Dorado (Ark.). Pine Tree will face Longview in the final game of the Lobo Classic Challenge at 4:30 p.m. Saturday.
“I think I performed pretty well,” Parker said. “Like Coach said, I’m more of a closer, but under these circumstances I thought I pitched pretty good and we got the win. So it went well.”
No. 2 Whitehouse 7, Pine Tree 3
Lobo Classic Challenge
At Lobo Field, Longview
Whitehouse 001 510 0 — 7 8 2
Pine Tree 001 002 0 — 3 6 1
Pitchers and Catchers
- Whitehouse: Jake Parker, Kyle Webb (5), Caleb McNulty (7) and Rex Swinney.
- Pine Tree: John Cravey, Bryton Thomas (6) and Blake Adams
LP — Cravey
- Whitehouse: Eric Munoz
- Pine Tree: Chris Chadwick (2), Briton Thomas
Other scores from the Lobo Classic Challenge
- El Dorado (Ark.) 9, Longview 5
- Texas High 17, El Dorado (Ark.) 2
- Whitehouse 3, Longview 1
- Texas High 9, Longview 2
- Brook Hill 2, Pine Tree 1
- Whitehouse 11, Arkansas High (Ark.) 1
- Texas High 3, Arkansas High (Ark.) 1
- Pine Tree 3, El Dorado (Ark.) 3