Bookwood's amazing run to the state Class AAAAA baseball finals ended with a 5-2, 6-3 double-header loss at Parkview Saturday.
The Broncos (25-12) had a chance to force a Game 3, but a three-run Parkview rally in the top of the seventh inning turned a 3-3 score into a 6-3 Parkview lead. A hard-hit line drive by Lucas Sims in the bottom of the seventh allowed the Panthers to win their second straight state championship.
Brookwood had two men on when Sims stepped to the plate, but the Parkview right-fielder chased down his hit to end the game.
"We made some mistakes," Brookwood coach Rick Howard said after the game, "and they capitalized when they got their chance. That's to their credit."
Brookwood fell behind early in the first game, then clawed back against Parkview starting pitcher Matt Olson. Parkview scored two runs in each the second and third innings — two of them coming on Brookwood errors and two more on Olson's two-run homer in the third — and then added single run in the fifth on another error.
But the Broncos came back with two in the top of the sixth. Jordan Dykes singled and scored, and Michael Gouge, who had doubled, scored on a wild pitch.
Olson pitched a 1-2-3 seventh, however, to end the game.
Brookwood managd only five hits against Olson. Gouge was 2-for-3. Starting pitcher Sims, who pitched the entire game, struck out seven.
In the second game, Parkview scored runs on a wild pitch and a two-run home run to take a 3-1 lead before the Broncos came back late.
Brookwood tied the game at 1-1 when Sims crushed a Jesse Foster pitch well over the left-field wall in the bottom of the second inning.
Then in the sixth, Gouge, Ryan Woodard and Sims greeted Parkview relief pitcher Jack Esmonde qwith back-to-back-to-back doubles for two runs to make it 3-3. But Esmonde then pitched out of the jam.
In the top of the seventh, Olson drilled a two-out pitch over the right-field fence to make it 4-3 Parkview. Two more runs came on Esmonde's single and a base-loaded walk to Davis.
Gouge went 3-for-4 with two doubles in the game for Brookwood. Cedric Mullins, Woodard and Sims each went 2-for-4. Starting pitcher Allen Tokarz pitched 6.2 strong innings.
Howard said if not for two pitches — resulting in Parkview home runs — it might have been a different outcome for Tokarz. "He pitched his heart out today," the coach said. "He threw great against a real good hitting team."
It was a disappointing end to a great season for Brookwood. The Broncos won 10 of their last 11 games and withstood three three-game series in the playoffs to reach the final.
"I'm extremely proud of them. They're a great group of kids," Howard said. "They fought. They fought hard. And they leaned on each other to get through. That's what got them here."