Baseball bounces back, beats Benilde

Park defeats local rival 7-3

Aidan Shafton and Noah Leventhal

After a recent five-game losing streak, Park baseball found itself back in the win column after they defeated Benilde-St. Margaret’s May 19. Junior Graham Sullivan said he felt confident going into the game as long as Park played to the best of their ability. 

“We expected to be pretty competitive because we always come out pretty hard against Benilde,” Sullivan said. “We knew that we had a lineup that could produce. We just had to put it together and capitalize on the opportunities we had during the game.”

Head coach Brian Kelly said the team regained their composure after they gave up three runs early in the game.

“We got off to a little bit of a slow start, but our pitchers settled down and attacked,” Kelly said. “We came together and had some good at bats.”

According to Sullivan, a three-run home run hit late in the game by senior captain Zach Helfmann made it so senior Andruw Vela was able to pitch comfortably for the remainder of the game.

“Zach’s homer was a turning point because that gave Andruw a nice, comfortable lead to pitch with,” Sullivan said. “Vela pitched incredibly.”

Helfmann said Park’s pitching and defense in the last half of the game is what sealed the win for them. 

“We shut them out the last three or four innings, so the turning point was big outs in the field and strikeouts by pitchers,” Helfmann said. 

Kelly said the team is going to maximize the time that they have to prepare for sections by improving on skills they haven’t been able to work on recently.

“We’re really looking forward to four days of practice,” Kelly said. “We can work on stuff that we haven’t been able to do because we’ve had so many games. We’re looking forward to a lot of situational stuff, batting practice on the field and cleaning up some stuff to get ready for the playoffs next Saturday.”

Baseball’s next game will be against Waconia at 4:30 p.m. May 22 at Waconia Lions Baseball Field.