Four wins during the last week, including an impressive 12-2 victory over perennial Class 1A power Newman Catholic, vaulted the Clear Lake baseball team into the Class 3A rankings this week. The 6-1 Lions debuted on the list, released Monday, at number three. Sioux City Heelan sits in the number one spot, followed by Benton Community.
CL 3, North Union 2
The Lions needed an extra inning, but topped North Union 3-2 Tuesday, May 28.
After giving up an unearned run in the top of the first, Clear Lake tied the game in the third but could not convert scoring chances in the fifth or seventh innings. Pete Swenson led off the eighth with a single, with Mitch Keeran following with a fly to right center that was lost in the lights by the North Union center and right fielders for a base hit. After a sacrifice bunt and a strikeout, Logan Kracht dragged a bunt up the third base line that North Union couldn’t cleanly play, allowing both Swenson and Keeran to score the tying and winning runs.
Gavin Sheakly picked up the win on the mound with a two-hitter. He struck out 14 and walked just one.
“I thought this was a good win for us; to win a close game against a good team early in the season,” said Clear Lake Coach Seth Thompson. “It is very encouraging to see a team, especially a team that is young like we have, to respond with two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning after falling behind in the top of the eighth. To see a good pitcher that throws hard like we saw tonight will help us become better hitters down the road and prepare us for what awaits if they want to compete for their conference title.”
CL 3, H-D 2
The Lions won another close one Friday night. They defeated Hampton-Dumont, 3-2.
“The ability to win close games is a characteristic that it seems some team are ‘born’ with, some teams have to learn, and some teams never figure out. As the season wears on and you hopefully compete for a conference and district championship, this characteristic usually defines the teams that end up at the top of the heap,” said Coach Thompson. “We have a lot to prove before we can call ourselves conference or district champions, but it is nice to know that we have what it takes to win really close intense games like we saw tonight and the game prior vs. North Union.”
Against the Bulldogs, the Lion defense provided the win. Jerry Kockler dominated on the mound, allowing only three hits. He struck out 13 and walked one.
The Lions held a 3-0 lead through five innings, but H-D got on the board with their first run in the sixth and were threatening to take the lead in the seventh when Gavin Sheakley made an outstanding assist from the outfield to get an important runner advancing to third. Kockler somehow found a way to turn what should have been a game-tying hit by their last batter in the last inning into an out, sealing the Lions’ first conference win.
Luke Schiller finished the game with three hits to lead the team. Brock Adams had a pair of hits and Matt Stephany, Mitch Keeran and Rowdy Yates had one apiece. Stephany and Keeran were credited with RBIs.
CL 9, Kee High 3
Saturday’s Newman Tournament couldn’t have gone much better for the Lions. They started with a 9-3 victory over Kee High of Lansing.
“The last two years our kids have played really well against a team that has more history and tradition than any other team in the state, and it was really nice to see them continue that even though our cast of characters on the field is much different this year then the last two,” said Coach Thompson.
The coach didn’t feel his sophomore hurler, Brock Adams, was as sharp as usual, but he found a way to grind out a win and battle his way through some tough spots. He threw a complete game, giving up seven hits and striking out four. He walked two.
Matt Stephany started his 17th birthday with four hits in his first four plate appearances. He smacked a double, scored three times and picked up one RBI in the game.
Adams also did a good job at the plate, collecting three hits, including a double, and scoring each time he reached base. He finished with two RBI. Pete Swenson also had multiple hits. He had two hits and reached base twice on walks, scoring twice. His line also included a stolen base.
Mitch Keeran also had a - Read More Via e-Edition