Tough loss lands the Lions as NCC runner-up

The highs were high and the lows were low last week in Clear Lake baseball.  The Lions opened the week with a strong win over Webster City to set up an exciting showdown with conference leader Bishop Garrigan.  Another win had the Lions in a tie for the North Central Conference title, but a stunning loss to Humboldt relegated the team to NCC runner-up this year. 

    The Lions are currently 29-6 and 14-3 in conference play. They were slated to finish conference play on Tuesday, July 10, at home against Algona and are guaranteed to finish in second place.  District play starts on Friday at Charles City.  The Lions will play Charles City at 7 p.m.  The winner will take on the winner of the Oelwein vs. Waverly-Shell Rock game in a July 16 final in Charles City.

CL 15, WC 5 (5)
    The Lions pounded out 16 hits in five innings on their way to a 15-5 win over Webster City Monday, July 2. 
    “I thought overall we played a good game and ended up with a big win heading into our game against Bishop Garrigan Tuesday,” said Coach Seth Thompson.  “We swung the bats very well as a team and pitched well enough and defended well enough to get the win.”
    Every batter Clear Lake sent to the plate had at least one hit-- seven had two.
    Ozzie Adams and Gavin Sheakley included a double in their pair of hits.  Jake Kockler, Michael Keeran, Tanner Truesdell, Tanner Tusha and Jerry Kockler all had two hits in the win. Brock Adams and Zac Bendickson got into the scorebook with singles. 
    Truesdell paced the team with four RBI, while Keeran, Ozzie Adams and Gavin Sheakley had two apiece.
    The Lions opened with five runs in the first, added two in the second and five in the third to hold a 13-3 lead after three innings.  One more in the fourth and two in the fifth was enough to stop the game early.
    Keeran pitched the win, striking out six and walking two.  He have up five runs on five hits.

CL 7, Garrigan 2
    The Lions got the win they were looking for Tuesday, July 3, at Bishop Garrigan.  They defeated league-leading Garrigan (No. 1, Class 1A) 7-2.
    “This was a huge win for these kids on the road against our conference leaders-- to not just get the win but win convincingly against a pitcher (Austin Vaske) that has been one of the best in the state this year and hadn’t lost a game yet all year,” said Coach Thompson, whose team moved into a tie with Garrigan in the NCC title race.
    “Our plan was to make him (Vaske) work hard every pitch against every batter that stepped up in the box against him, and we did that I felt very well as a team, with only three strikeouts all game as a team against a kid that averages around 10 strikeouts a game.”
    The Lions used some big two-out hits to keep some rallies going and didn’t let Vaske get out of any inning only pitching to three batters.
    Algona jumped out to an early 2-0 lead then watched as the Lions put one run up in the second and three more in the third and fourth innings for the 7-2 win.
    Seven Lions contributed to Clear Lake’s 11 hit total in the game.  Michael Keeran, Tanner Tusha, Gavin Sheakley and Brock Adams had two hits apiece. Sheakley had a triple in one of his at-bats, while Ozzie Adams and Tusha each had doubles. 
    Ozzie Adams was the winning pitcher, striking out eight, walking two and giving up six hits. 
    “Ozzie was the better pitcher tonight out there, shutting - Read More Via e-Edition

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