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Parkview orchestrates stunning rally against rival

Photos: David McGregor. Brookwood's Nick Moore looks to tag out Parkview baserunner Josh Hart during their region game Monday night in Lilburn.

Photos: David McGregor. Brookwood's Nick Moore looks to tag out Parkview baserunner Josh Hart during their region game Monday night in Lilburn.

LILBURN -- The conventional wisdom that no lead is ever safe at Parkview's Hugh Buchanan Field was never more evident than in Tuesday's Region 8-AAAAA game with archrival Brookwood.

The host Panthers spotted the fifth-ranked Broncos the game's first seven runs before roaring back to score six times in both the fifth and sixth innings to complete the comeback in a 12-7 win.

"The tradition that Parkview has is that we never give up," Parkview coach Chan Brown said after the Panthers (11-5, 6-0) rallied to pull into a tie with idle South Gwinnett for the region lead. "I've got to give Brookwood a lot of credit. They came in here ready to play. Truthfully, they outplayed us the first half of the game, but I'm proud of our kids (for coming back)."

Brookwood's bats were booming in the early innings, and the Broncos (10-5, 4-2) didn't even need Buchanan Field's traditionally cozy confines or the gale blowing straight out throughout the evening to build a huge lead behind four home runs.

A two-run homer by Zach Rinehart was immediately followed by Nick Moore's solo blast to put Brookwood in front 3-0 in the top of the third.

An inning later, Trey Hagey belted a three-run homer, and Lucas Sims' solo shot in the fourth left the Broncos with a 7-0 lead.

And it looked like it might stand up after Jacob Beauchamp pitched around five walks in the first three innings, stranding seven Parkview baserunners in the first four innings.

But in the fifth, the Panthers began to chip away at the lead the Broncos had built with long ball by playing small ball.

After back-to-back singles by Edwin Arias and Matt Olson to lead off the inning, a wild pitch brought one run home to make the score 6-1.

One out later, Ryan Blanton legged out an infield single and Parkview caught a break when the wind caught Zack Reinstein's pop-up and allowed it to fall in short left field to load the bases.

Jacob Freeland then drew a bases-loaded walk to cut the Brookwood lead to 6-2 and end the night for Beauchamp.

After Blake Schuck struck out pinch hitter A.J. Davis, Travis Naraine came up with a clutch, two-out, two-run single, and a third run scored when an outfield error allowed the ball to skip all the way to the wall.

Josh Hart then capped the rally with an RBI infield hit, pulling the Panthers to within 7-6.

"We were fortunate early on that when they got opportunities, we got out of it," Brookwood coach Rick Howard said. "But when things get rolling, you've got to be able to shut it down. And we didn't shut it down."

Indeed, the fifth-inning outburst was only the beginning.

Parkview erupted for six more runs on six more hits -- five of them singles, plus Blanton's two-run double -- to take the lead for good.

In fact, of the Panthers' 15 hits, 12 of which came in their final two at bats, all but Blanton's and Hart's first-inning double, were singles.

"We preached, 'Hit singles, and we'll score,'" Brown said.

Blanton finished the night 2-for-3 with the two RBIs, while Naraine was 3-for-4 with three RBIs and Freeland and Hart each added two hits and two RBIs.

Phillip Taylor (3-0) got the win with two solid innings of relief in which he pitched around Sims' homer and struck out five.

Hagey, Rinehart, Sims and Tremayne Toorie each had two hits to lead the Brookwood offense.