Lions end season with five conference wins; top Mohawks

The Clear Lake baseball team set the stage for an exciting finish to the conference season by picking up five league wins, along with two non-conference victories, last week.  The Lions are now 27-4, 12-2 in North Central Conference play, and rated No. 4 in Class 3A.  
    The Lions  rank second in Class 3A in team batting average, and have individual players in the top five in key statistics: Ozzie Adams third in batting average at .515); RBI’s, Tanner Truesdell second with 44; runs scored,

Adams first with 49 and Michael Keeran third with 46; hits, Adams third with 50; and doubles, Adams first with 18.  The Lions are leading the state in Class 3A with 276 runs scored, as well. 
    This week Clear Lake was scheduled to play a conference game against Webster City Monday.  Today (Tuesday, July 3) the Lions are at conference-leading Bishop Garrigan and Thursday they are at Humboldt.

CL 6, H-D 3
    Michael Keeran allowed just four hits in the Lions’ 6-3 victory over Hampton-Dumont Monday, June 25.
    “We were relying on him to get us this win against a conference team in Hampton that had been playing well and has some kids that swing it pretty well, and he battled all night and got the job done,” said Coach Seth Thompson.  “Our offense was not spectacular, but managed to do enough to get the win.”
    The Lions pounded out seven hits in the game, led by Jake Kockler and Tanner Truesdell, each with a pair.  Truesdell had a double, RBI and stole a base in the game.  Kockler also tallied an RBI.
    Clear Lake put two runs across the plate in the first inning, then held a 2-1 lead until the top of the third when the Bulldogs tied the score.  Three runs in the fifth gave Keeran and the Lions some breathing room. 
    Keeran struck out nine and walked just one in picking up the win.

CL 2, MC 1
    Gavin Sheakley seems to have Mason City’s number.  The junior hurler led the Lions to a 2-1 victory over the Mohawks Tuesday night, June 26. 
    Sheakley was on the mound when the Lions stunned the Mohawks 5-4 in 2010.  At that time Mason City was ranked second in Class 4A.  This year he threw just 71 pitches-- 53 of them strikes-- to pick up the win.  Sheakley struck out three, walked one and gave up six hits.
    “This was just a really well-pitched and well-defended game by both sides, and a big win for us against a bigger school and a local rival,” said Coach Thompson.   “Gavin just kind of plowed his way through their lineup and the game.  He was outstanding on the mound and our defense was outstanding behind him.”
    Clear Lake scored both of its runs in the fourth inning.  The Lions strung together four straight hits and plated their runs on an RBI single by Tanner Tusha and a sacrifice fly by Jerry Kockler.  Ozzie Adams and Tanner Truesdell scored on the hits. 
    Adams had two hits in the game, as did Jake Kockler and Sheakley. 
    Mason City was held scoreless until the seventh inning, when an unearned run crossed the plate.
    “This was our third win in four days against 4A competition and that will help us a ton in seeding as we move toward district play here in a few weeks,” added Coach Thompson.

CL 3, IF-A 2
    It was another exciting one-run win for the Lions the following night.  They avenged a loss to Iowa Falls-Alden, 2-1.
    “It is a little unusual for these kids to play in these kind of low-scoring games, and it was great to see us win for the second night in a row in these type of games,” said Coach Thompson.  “Good teams find a way to win in different ways, and these kids all year have proven that they can win slugfests, and have shown the last few weeks the ability to win pitching duels, as well.”
    It was the Lions’ third walk-off win at home in a little over a week, which the coach called fun to see for players, coaches and fans. 
    “Iowa Falls is a good team that beat us earlier this year, so it was great to see us avenge that loss and get this big conference win,” he said.
    The Cadets scored first, but the Lions took a 2-1 lead after plating runs in both the second and third innings.  IF-A again tied the score in the top of the seventh, 2-2.  But in the bottom of the seventh inning, Michael Keeran led off with a hit and Ozzie Adams crushed a double to right field.  Keeran scored the winning run on a passed ball with Tanner Tusha at the plate. 
    Adams had three hits in the game, including a double.  Gavin Sheakley was the other Lion with multiple hits.  He- Read More Via e-Edition

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