Clear Lake began North Central Conference play last week with mixed success. The Lions went 1-1 in league games and added two non-conference victories to their early season results, putting them at 3-5 for the week ending June 7.
Webster City 8, CL 2
Clear Lake ran into some stiff competition in its North Central Conference opener played Monday, June 3. The Lions fell behind early and couldn’t come back in an 8-2 loss to Webster City.
The Lynx took the lead in the first inning with two runs and steadily built on it throughout the game with 10 hits. Mac Adams took the loss for the Lions. He went five innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and striking out six.
The Lions tallied six hits in the game. Adams and Chase Stuver each collected two hits to lead the team. Austin Warnke had the lone RBI. The Lions scored both of their runs in the second inning.
“Their pitcher was throwing really well, and I thought we had some really good at bats and swings off him. We just, unfortunately, left too many men on base and our pitchers gave up too many walks to beat a good team like Webster City,” said Lions Head Coach Seth Thompson. “And although the errors are starting to come down, we are still seeing too many and that puts our pitchers in tough spots having to get extra outs against good hitters. This was a disappointing start to the conference season, but fortunately it is just the first game and there is a lot of season ahead of us.”
CL 14, Central Springs 2
The Lions rolled through four innings in a non-conference match-up with Central Springs Tuesday. The game was halted in the top of the fifth with the Lions leading 14-2, but it is not an official game under IHSAA rules since five innings must have been completed.
Central Springs got things moving in the first inning, when an error scored one run for the Panthers. They added a second in the next inning.
The Lions had a big second inning, scoring five runs. Andrew Formanek’s sacrifice fly scored one run. Eric Ritter singled on a 3-1 count, scoring one run, Austin Warnke singled on the first pitch of the at bat, scoring one run, and an error scored two runs in the inning.
Seven more Lion runs came in during the third inning. Ritter, Warnke, Chase Stuver, A.J. Stevenson and Formanek all contributed in the big inning with RBIs.
Warnke started the game for the Lions. He allowed zero hits and one run. Formanek came in with the bases loaded and nobody out calmed the storm. He allowed four hits and one run over four innings, striking out seven and walking zero.
Brock Mathers surrendered five runs on three hits over two innings on the mound for Central Springs, striking out one.
Ritter went three-for-three at the plate to lead the Lions in hits. Warnke also had multiple hits, collecting two RBIs. Clear Lake Lions Varsity in hits. The Lions were aggressive on the base paths. They stole eight bases during the game, and three players stole more than one. Erik McHenry led the way with two.
CL 12, Algona 4
The Lions evened their conference record at 1-1 with a 12-4 victory over Algona Wednesday, June 5.
“This was a very impressive and important win for our team. Algona is always a tough team and a tough place to get a win at, and to do it in such convincing fashion was great to see,” said Coach Seth Thompson.
Clear Lake got things moving in the second inning with two runs. Algona evened things up at two in the bottom of the third inning.
Clear Lake nabbed the lead late in the game. Tied at two with the Lions batting in the top of the fifth, Mitchell Raber singled on the first pitch of the at bat, scoring one run. The team finished with five in the frame and added two more in the sixth and three in the seventh for the comfortable win.
Connor O’Tool was the winning pitcher for the Lions. He allowed six hits and four runs over seven innings, striking out five and walking one. O’Tool recorded the last 21 outs to earn a save.
“I thought Connor pitched the best I have ever seen him pitch, and especially with pitch count in the game today, anytime you can pitch an entire game is a pretty significant feat and helps your team a ton not just for that game but for the rest of the games you have to play that week,” added Coach Thompson. “Even with a defense making too many errors behind him, he just kept battling and keeping his team in the game.”
Clear Lake totaled eight hits in the game. A.J. Stevenson led the team with three hits in three at bats. Raber also had multiple hits. He finished with two hits and three RBIs.
“AJ Stevenson and Eric Ritter have both been huge for our offense these last two games, and I thought our offensive approach as a team was outstanding the whole night,” said the coach.