BOAZ, Ala. – As the lights shined bright at Emmett Plunkett Field on Saturday night, so too did Snead State Community College’s Baseball Team. The Parsons swept ACCC foe Southern Union State in a home doubleheader to win the season series 3-1.
The games hosted at Snead State were the first night baseball games to be played on campus – a historic milestone for the college. To celebrate, the occasion was dubbed “Parsons After Dark.” Special guests in attendance included Boaz Mayor David Dyar, Rep. Brock Colvin and Alabama Senate Majority Leader Clay Scofield, who Snead State President Dr. Joe Whitmore said played an integral role in helping get lights for the college’s baseball and softball fields.
“These lights would not have been possible without the unwavering support of Clay, Brock, Mayor Dyar, Alabama Community College Chancellor Jimmy Baker, and so many others,” Whitmore said. “We have been working toward this day for many years, and we are just so grateful for the work these men have put in to make our vision a reality.”
Scofield threw out the first pitch under the lights and was presented a jersey from the baseball team.
Hundreds of spectators filled the bleachers and surrounded the field to witness the historic night and take in the college’s first baseball game under the lights. Among the sizeable crowd were several area youth baseball teams, which were allowed onto the field to meet players, take photographs and have memorabilia signed.
In Game One, the Parsons torched the visiting Bison 13-3 in six innings.
Southern Union State took an early 2-1 lead in the first inning, but the Parsons used a three-run inning in the bottom of the third to take a 4-3 advantage and never look back.
Powered by a four-run homerun from Brooks Hardie, the Parsons worked in five runs during the fourth inning to extend their lead to 9-3. The team drove in another run in the fifth to make widen the lead to 10-3.
In the bottom of the sixth, Snead State’s Carter Frederick blasted a walk-off, three-run homer to deep center that ended the game 13-3.
On the mound, William Tarpley pitched a complete game for the Parsons. Through six innings, he registered six strikeouts while allowing seven hits and three earned runs.
Frederick led the Parsons, batting 3-for-4 including the homerun. He accounted for three runs and three RBIs. Brooks Hardie finished 2-for-4 at the plate, including a homerun, and registered four RBIs. As a team, the Parsons totaled 11 hits and 12 RBIs.
For Game Two, Snead State pitchers Cody King and Evan Steckmesser combined for a 3-0 shutout.
King, who pitched through five and two-thirds innings, struck out six Bison batters and gave up just five hits and one walk to earn the win.
Steckmesser closed out the game with four strikeouts and allowed only one hit.
Offensively, the Parsons struggled to replicate their output from Game One. As a team, Snead State only produced seven hits. Frederick led the effort batting 3-for-3 including a double, and tallied one run and one RBI. Fisher Moss and Trey Higgins each recorded an RBI. Cason Firth finished 1-for-3 and recorded two runs.
With just a four-game series against Bevill State left on the schedule, the Parsons (26-23, 13-15) are currently tied for fifth with Southern Union State in the ACCC North standings.
Only the top five teams in each division qualify to compete in the ACCC Championship Tournament May 10-15 at Choccolocco Park in Oxford.
While the Parsons hold a head-to-head advantage over Southern Union State, winning the next four games remains vital to secure a postseason berth.
“Bevill State is in the bottom half of our division standings, but no victory comes easy in this league, and Bevill is certainly not a team to overlook,” said Snead State Head Coach Casey Underwood. “We’ve won eight of our last 10 games. Our guys have done a pretty good job over the past several games to find a rhythm and consistently put points on the board, and also keep points off the board on defense. If we want a chance to compete for a championship, we have to maintain our focus and be disciplined, and take everything one day and one play at a time.”
Snead State will hit the road for their first two games of the Bevill State series on Thursday, May 4, with games at 2 and 4 p.m. The Parsons are scheduled to return home Friday, May 5, for the final two games of the series. Game One is slated for 2 p.m.; Game Two at approximately 4 p.m. Sophomores will be honored prior to the first game.