The number two ranked (3A) Clear Lake baseball team improved to 30-3 and is playing stellar baseball against some of the state’s top teams. Victories last week over St. Ed’s, Garrigan and Newman Catholic, the top ranked team in Class 1A, helped the Lions reach the 30-win milestone for the second straight year. They currently have the best record in Class 3A.
The Lions open up District play at 5 p.m. Friday in Waverly against Charles City. The winner will advance to play again at Waverly on Monday, July 22.
“We would love to see as many people from the community as possible come out to support this team during District Play,” said Coach Seth Thompson.
CL 2, ST. ED’S 1
The Lions withstood a late rally by St. Ed’s to earn a 2-1 victory Tuesday, July 9.
“This was a really well-played ball game by both teams and both pitchers did a really nice job,” said Coach Thompson.
The Lions managed to get six hits, all singles from different hitters, and the Gaels got six off starter Brandon Tofte through six innings. They collected two more in the final frame when Brock Adams was brought in.
Tofte improved to 6-0 with the win. He struck out three and walked three. Adams picked up a save.
“I honestly thought they hit the ball better than we did, but luckily for us our defense made some outstanding plays behind Brandon and we managed to scrape together just enough runs to get the win,” said Coach Thompson. “The exclamation point on an outstanding defensive effort was Gavin Sheakley throwing out the potentially-tying runner at home from center field for the last out of the game.”
Sheakley, Luke Schiller, Adams, Mitch Keeran, Matt Stephany and Rowdy Yates had hits in the game for the Lions.
CL 4, GARRIGAN 2
Clear Lake’s Brock Adams and Garrigan’s Reece Wadle gave appreciative baseball fans an old-fashioned pitcher’s duel Wednesday, July 10. In the end, Adams and the Lions emerged as 4-2 winners.
“I was very impressed by Brock’s ability to get the better of the duel against the pitcher that statistically was the best non-Lion pitcher in the conference this year,” pointed out Coach Thompson. “We really like to see good pitching as we prepare for District play next week, because obviously in Districts you are going to see the best a team has every night in a win-or-go-home scenario. Brock hasn’t gotten a chance to throw much in conference play this year, and he really stepped up tonight against one of the best teams in our conference.”
Adams threw a complete game, striking out seven and giving up just three hits. He issued three walks.
Wadle struck out nine and gave up five hits. The first four batters in the Lions’ order, Gavin Sheakley, Luke Schiller, Adams and Mitch Keeran, along with Rowdy Yates in the number six spot, had hits. Schiller and Keeran picked up RBIs with their singles.
CL 5, NEWMAN 4
Another night, another tough meeting with a ranked baseball opponent.
On Thursday, the Lions traveled to Mason City to play the rubber game against Newman Catholic. The Knights jumped all over the Lions early in the season, but Clear Lake returned the favor a few weeks ago. Thursday, both teams brought their ‘A’ games.
The number two Lions (3A) topped the top ranked (1A) Knights, 5-4.
“It’s hard to envision a better string of games to get us ready for tournament play next week,” said Coach Thompson. “This was a very tournament-like atmosphere tonight on the road with two teams ranked number one and two squaring off for what turned out to be a very good game that came down to the final at-bat.”
Newman jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first, but then was held at bay until the seventh inning.