Lions tied for top of the conference

(Above) Mitchell Raber makes connection during the C-G-D game on Wednesday.  -Reporter photo by Chris Barragy

Clear Lake Baseball Coach Seth Thompson is a firm believer in testing his players’ skills against strong competition.  Last week the head Lion did just that, as the team stepped outside the conference to take on some Iowa powerhouses on the road.  The Lions are now 12-6 overall and are tied atop the North Central Conference with Webster City at 6-1.  Clear Lake will host the Lynx Monday  night in an important matchup.

CL 9, Algona 8

The Lions rallied back from a 6-1 deficit, scoring four runs in the fourth and fifth innings on their way to a 9-8 victory at Algona Monday, June 11.

“This might have been one of the most impressive and resilient wins I have seen a Clear Lake team pull off as a coach here,” said Thompson.  “To be down 6-1 on the road in conference, and a number of our players not on the field because for a variety of reasons, and a number of players playing through injuries that happened during the game - to be able to mount a rally to come back and take the lead and then hold off a very good hitting Algona team in the last few innings was a truly remarkable and enjoyable thing to watch. It is hard to understate the resilience and heart these kids play with.  This was a huge conference win for us and keeps us near the top of the conference standings.”

The game was tied at seven with the Lions batting in the top of the sixth when Mitchell Raber doubled on a 2-1 count, scoring two runs.  Algona was able to add one run in the bottom of the seventh, but fell short of the win.

Nathan Tofte got the win not he mound, throwing three innings and giving up two runs on four hits.  He struck out six and walked four.  Ben Finn started the game and went four innings.  He surrendered 10 hits, struck out three and walked one.

There was plenty of action on the basepaths as the Lions had eight hits and Algona managed 14.

Clear Lake opened up the scoring in the second inning, when Mac Adams grounded out, scoring one run.

Zach Lester had two hits for the Lions, while Erik McHenry, Andrew Formanek, Chase Stuver, Tofte, Raber, and Finn each managed one hit.  Tofte, Stuver and Raber finished with two RBIs apiece.

CL 7, C-G-D 1

Another late charge produced a win for the Lions on Wednesday, as they stomped visiting Clarion-Goldfield-Dows by a score of 7-1.  The Lions knocked in four runs in the sixth, courtesy of Austin Warnke and Zach Lester.  Lester had two hits in the game and three RBIs.  He was also the winning pitcher, surrendering one run on four hits over seven innings, striking out 11.

The Lions fired up the offense in the first inning, as Chase Stuver singled on a 1-1 count, scoring two runs.

Clear Lake Lions Varsity saw the ball well today, racking up seven hits in the game. Stuver and Lester each had multiple hits for the Lions.  The home team didn’t commit a single error in the field.

“This was another big win for us in conference play and with Webster City losing on the night, it puts us in a tie for the conference lead,” said Coach Thompson.  “I thought Lester was outstanding on the mound and he and Stuver both led our offense to get enough runs for the win.  I thought our defense was outstanding, playing error free for the second game in a row.”

CL 7, Cherokee 4

The Lions weathered a scare by Cherokee in the fifth inning, but still won 7-4 over Cherokee Thursday.

The visitors put together a three-run on in the fifth in response to four runs scored by the Lions in the fourth.  A.J. Stevenson and Chase Stuver powered the big inning with RBIs.

Brecken Arndt was credited with the victory for the Lions.  He lasted four and two-thirds innings, allowing four hits and four runs while striking out seven. Mac Adams threw two and one-third innings in relief out of the bullpen. Adams recorded the last seven outs to earn the save for the Lions.

The Lions collected nine hits on the day. Zach Lester and Stevenson all managed multiple hits.  Lester went three-for-three at the plate to lead the team in hits.  Stevenson had two hits that brought in four Lion runs.

“This is a team we have never played before and it was a fun competitive game that our kids again found a way to win,” said Coach Thompson.  “It was great to see Brecken Arndt get his first chance to start as a varsity pitcher, and he did a nice job of giving his team a chance to win the game. We continued to play well on the defensive end, as well.”

CL 2, Treynor 0

The Lions rekindled a State Tournament matchup from 2015 when they traveled to Treynor Friday, June 15.  Two pitchers combined to throw a shut-out to give the Lions a 2-0 win.

“This was a great high school baseball game and it was great to get a win against a good team like Treynor on the road,” said Coach Thompson.  “It was fun to play them again on a field we have never played on before in a different part of the state.”

Jackson Hamlin was on the mound for the Lions and got the win, throwing four and two-thirds innings.  He gave up just two hits, struck out four and walked one.  Nathan Tofte came in for the final two and one-third innings and gave up one hit, while striking out four.

“It was great to see Jackson back out there pitching since injuring his knee a few weeks ago, and I thought he was extremely sharp and Tofte did a great job of coming in to close things out to get our first shutout of the year,” said the coach.

Andrew Formanek had a great night at the plate to lead the Lion offense with two extra base hits.  Zach Lester also had two hits.  Tofte had a single that scored a run.  Clear Lake racked up six hits in the game.

St. Albert 10, CL 3

The Lions fell behind early and couldn’t come back in a 10-3 loss to St. Albert on Saturday.  Clear Lake struggled to contain the high-powered offense of St. Albert, giving up 10 runs on 11 hits.

St. Albert fired up the offense in the first inning with one run, then scored seven in the fourth inning for an 8-0 lead.  The Lions had a single run in the fifth and two in the seventh.

Ben Finn took the loss for the Lions.  He went three innings, allowing eight runs on seven hits.  Andrew Formanek threw the final three innings.  He gave up two runs on three hits.  He struck out one and walked one.

Zach Lester, Nathan Tofte, and Finn all managed multiple hits for the Lions.  Lester went three-for-four at the plate to lead his team. Tofte and Finn had two hits apiece.

Once again the Lions were sure-handed in the field and didn’t

Reunion to celebrate 2013 State Baseball Championship Team

A five-year reunion to celebrate the Lions’ 2013 State Baseball Championship Team will be held Monday, June 25, at the Clear Lake baseball field.  The team will be recognized between the JV and Varsity games that night.

“I am thrilled to see most of the 2013 State Championship Team will be able to join us Monday for what will not only be a great celebration of Clear Lake’s first baseball State Championship in school history, but a great night of baseball for our current team as they take on a Webster City team that they are tied with for the NCC conference lead,” said CLHS Coach Seth Thompson.  “We encourage everyone in the community that can make it to come out and see some exciting baseball and help us recognize and celebrate our first State Title team from 2013.

The JV game  will start at 5:15 and there will be brief ceremony at 6:30 p.m. before the big varsity NCC conference showdown.

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