LAKEVIEW — Greenville’s Parker Syrjala hadn’t pitched since mid-April.
On Wednesday, Syrjala took the mound against the Lakeview Wildcats and showed no signs of rust. Syrjala, on a strict pitch count, went 4 2/3 innings without allowing a hit or run for a 5-0 victory in the second of two games.
The two teams played two five inning games as a Saturday district tournament tuneup.
“It was nice to see Parker throw,” Greenville coach Corey Kohler said. “We had to keep him at 50 pitches, so that’s why we had the late pitching change. He hadn’t pitched in a while.”
Syrjala had thrown just six innings all season long against Central Montcalm and Northview.
“Really, we haven’t had him all year, which would have made a world of difference,” Kohler said. “Honestly, he is the best pitcher in our league.”
Greenville finished a combined no-hitter when Logan Sharp came on in relief, and after a walk, got the final out on a flyout to centerfield. Syrjala walked two in the outing.
“Overall, I’m not disappointed in the way we played,” Lakeview coach Ryan Vellanti said. “We just didn’t hit real well, but they (Greenville) pitched really well. Hats off to them, both Syrjalas threw well.”
Calvin Syrjala earned the win in a 5-2 game one victory.
“I thought Cal (Syrjala) was pretty solid,” Kohler said. “He had a real good three or four innings and then started to struggle late, but finished strong.”
Jake Ridgeway suffered the loss in game one and Cameron Decker in game two for Lakeview.
“Our pitchers threw strikes and I was happy with that,” Vellanti said. “They got hit, but that was fine. I wanted them to throw strikes and not walk anyone. I was pleased.”
In game one, the Yellow Jackets scored once in the first and four times in the second inning. Lakeview scored twice in the final inning.
Calvin Englund had two hits, while Jordan Stephens and Ridgeway each had one hit for Lakeview. Nick Reamer, Kolton Dunham, Tyler Orr and Calvin Syrjala had hits for the Yellow Jackets.
“Our first game, I thought we hit the ball real well like expected,” Kohler said. “The second guy (Decker) gave us some problems because his speed was slower. It took us two or three innings to get our timing down.”
In game two, Reamer had an RBI double and an RBI single. Parker Syrjala had two hits and two runs, while Max Little had an RBI single. Orr also had a hit for Greenville.
Caleb Cavendish finished out game two in relief. Decker went 4 1/3 innings, allowing six hits, five runs (three earned) with one walk and one strikeout.
Greenville finished the regular season 15-13, while the Wildcats wrapped up the season 9-15.
Both teams will be in action Saturday for the district tournament and both coaches feel confident in their respective districts.
“I don’t care who we are playing I think that gives us a shot,” Kohler said. “With him (Parker Syrjala) on the mound I feel pretty good. On any given day anything can happen. We just have to show up to play mentally.”
Greenville will face the Rockford Rams at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday at Northview. The winner faces the winner of Forest Hills Northern/Lowell in the district final.
Rockford is ranked third in Division 1.
Lakeview will host Morley Stanwood in the district semifinal on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. The Wildcats dropped two to the Mohawks early this season.
“I feel good. We dropped two close ones against Morley this year,” Vellanti said. “But that was in early April and I think we are a lot better now. With Kyler (Ridgeway) on the mound, I think we have a really good shot.”
The winner faces either Central Montcalm or Evart in the Division 3 district final.