Park, Chanhassen baseball split games

Team builds off of conference win, learns from loss

Mimi Fhima

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Izzy Leviton

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After losing to Chanhassen three years in a row, baseball head coach Brian Kelly said the win over Chanhassen April 26 at Minnetonka High School sparked excitement among the team.

Park scored six runs in the sixth inning of the first game of the double header, giving them an 8-3 lead over Chanhassen that they carried to the end of the conference game.

In the second game, Park gave up three runs to Chanhassen, giving them a 4-2 lead over the Orioles. Chanhassen won the second non-conference game 6-2.

Senior Zach Listiak said after a successful first game the team experienced highs and lows during the second game.

“I thought they went pretty good. First game was obviously a good one. We got the (win),” Listiak said. “Second one, we had ups and downs.”

Kelly said defensive errors largely contributed to the outcome of both match-ups.

“The first game we made two defensive mistakes and it didn’t cost us — we made a big play to get out of the inning. In the second game we made defensive mistakes, and we didn’t get out of the inning. And it did cost us,” Kelly said.

According to Kelly, the last two innings are crucial in every game.

“Those last couple innings, those last six outs are not the same as those first six outs. They’re more elusive, they’re harder to get,” Kelly said.

According to Kelly, Listiak’s performance was a highlight of the game.

“Zach Listiak absolutely had the best offensive day of his life and hit his first home run,” Kelly said.

Senior captain Shea Pekarek said Listiak’s preparation factored into his successful game.

“The first game we played, (Listiak) did really well. We just seemed a little shocked about (the home run). It was something he has obviously worked for a lot this off-season,” Pekarek said. “To see to able to see him hit his first home run was pretty cool.”

Listiak said the team is going to use the same skills they used to defeat Chanhassen for their future games.

“We are going to stay focused like we did today and stay positive and keep doing what we are doing,” Listiak said.

In anticipation of tomorrow’s game against Robbinsdale Armstrong, Kelly said the team is confident about their chances, despite having lost to Robbinsdale Armstrong in Sections last year.

“We said (on the bus back), we know it’s the team that ended our season last year so what does that factor into tomorrow, and everyone said ‘nothing.’ And that’s right. It has nothing to do with tomorrow’s game,” Kelly said.

Park takes on Robbinsdale Armstrong at 3:30 p.m. April 27 at Robbinsdale Armstrong High School.

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