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Mighty Parkview Reaches Baseball Final

Pitcher Jesse Foster and Panthers shut out Mill Creek 5-0 to sweep Class AAAAA semifinal series. (Updated story, photos)

Updated, Tuesday 11 p.m.

Call it the Battle of Five Forks-Trickum, baseball-style.

which beat Mill Creek 5-0 Tuesday to win its Class AAAAA semifinal series, will face a familiar foe once the championship round begins Saturday.

Brookwood High School, located only six miles away from Parkview down Five Forks-Trickum Road, also advanced Tuesday with a 7-4 win over Grayson.

The finals will begin with a Saturday afternoon double-header at Parkview High School.

As one Parkview supporter Tweeted Tuesday: "There's gonna be people [lined up] all the way to China on Saturday!"

Parkview, , used complete-game pitching and timely hitting to advance with Tuesday's shutout of Mill Creek.

Jesse Foster threw a three-hitter and the Panthers made the most of their seven hits. Foster faced no more than four batters in any inning, striking out five and walking none. During one stretch, he forced 10 straight outs by Mill Creek batters.

"I like to pitch to contact," Foster said, referring to getting opposing batters to hit ground balls. "I knew when I pitch to contact, my teammates behind me are going to make plays."

Foster allowed singles in the first, third and seventh innings and pitched 1-2-3 innings in the fourth, fifth and sixth as the Panthers held on to a slim lead.

"Jesse's done this for us for four years," Parkview coach Chan Brown said. "He just seems to get better and better ... He's something special."

The game started as a pitching duel between Foster and Mill Creek starter Shane Sheckinger. Parkview was hitless until the fourth when two singles, a double steal and a wild pitch plated Josh Hart for the first run. Hart had an RBI and scored two runs.

The Panthers went up 2-0 in the fifth when Rob Youngblood scored on Edwin Arias' triple. Two innings later, Arias popped his shoulder out of place on a play at second base; he expects to play Saturday, however.

Parkview put the game out of reach with three runs in the top of the seventh with the runs scoring on Hart's fielder's choice, a wild pitch and Hunter Thornton's single.

Youngblood also scored two runs for Parkview, while Thronton and Arias had two hits each.

Parkview will be playng for its fifth state championship this weekend.

"There's no better feeling [than playing in the finals]," Foster said. "Our goal since the beginning of the season was to make it back. Since we're there, we might as well win it."

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