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Jenkins, Parkland baseball strike gold with EPC championship over Liberty

A pair of pitchers brought their sub-1.00 ERA to the mound for Friday night’s Eastern Pennsylvania Conference baseball championship at Hackett Park.

So naturally, while most of them were unearned, top-seeded Liberty and No. 2 Parkland combined to score nine runs before a victor was decided.

Trojans ace Michael Jenkins, who had allowed just three earned runs and two walks over 54 innings coming into the game, gutted through five innings without his usual dominant stuff as he worked on three day’s rest. The senior, though, still found ways to put his team in position to win the game.

Parkland followed his lead, shrugging off an early deficit to knock off the Hurricanes 6-3 and win their second EPC championship in three years and third league title in the last four years.

“It’s what you play for all year,” Jenkins said. “It’s what you work hard all offseason for. It’s awesome to be here and have fun with it.”

With the win, the Trojans (16-7) leaped above Liberty (20-3) to pick up the No. 1 seed for the District 11 Class 6A playoffs.

MORE: With 3rd league crown in 4 years, Parkland feeling back at home

Jenkins moved to 7-1 on the year after allowing four hits, two walks and three runs (one earned) while striking out six over five innings. His 100th pitch was the final one of his night and the fifth inning as catcher Austin Mueller gunned down a runner trying to steal second.

“(Jenkins) actually was kind of over-hyped, which is usually not like him,” Parkland coach Kurt Weber said. “Usually he’s calm, cool and collected. It got to him a little bit, but he still battled.”

Senior Harsha Bollu, who missed all of last season with an arm injury, came on in relief and tossed two scoreless innings to record the save.

“I think our kids battled great,” Liberty coach Andy Pitsilos said. “We had disciplined at-bats again and we just came up on the short end tonight. … We have to play better. We just need to come out and win a big game, that’s…

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