Last updated: May 10. 2014 7:35AM - 668 Views
By Mike Carter Sports Writer



Clinton pitcher Alex Purcell fires a first inning pitch in his win over Wallace-Rose Hill on Friday night. Purcell allowed just 3 hits, striking out 8 batters, picking up his eighth win of the season, a 2-1 win over the visiting Bulldogs. To view more photos from this game, visit the sports section on atthe18foto.smugmug.com. (Mike Carter/The Sampson Independent)
Clinton pitcher Alex Purcell fires a first inning pitch in his win over Wallace-Rose Hill on Friday night. Purcell allowed just 3 hits, striking out 8 batters, picking up his eighth win of the season, a 2-1 win over the visiting Bulldogs. To view more photos from this game, visit the sports section on atthe18foto.smugmug.com. (Mike Carter/The Sampson Independent)
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Clinton hosted Wallace-Rose Hill in a Four County Conference baseball game on


Friday Night. The 2013-2014 edition of Dark Horse baseball has developed a habit


of waiting until the last minute to decide the outcome of their games and this one


proved to be no different. Alex Purcell took the mound for Clinton, allowing the


Bulldogs only one run on 3 hits while striking out 8 batters and giving up only one


walk, pitching another good game for the Dark Horses.


The visitors got on the board first with their lone run in the top of the third when they


got a runner aboard on a one out double and a base hit. Clinton was unable to


answer leaving a runner stranded at third base in the bottom of the fourth and fifth


innings and it was beginning to appear that the Dark Horses would not be able to


get a run across to support Purcell’s fine pitching performance. The Bulldogs put a


runner on base in the top of the sixth on a Dark Horse error and were able to


advance him to second but were unable to drive him home in what would prove to


be their last threat offensively.


The seventh inning brought more of the same with Purcell retiring the visitors in


order in the top of the frame. Clinton finally was able to get the lead off man on base


in the bottom of the second when Jacob Taylor ripped a line drive into leftfield for a


single. Taylor quickly took second on passed ball as Tyler Johnson stood in, pinch


hitting for Alex Purcell. After Johnson walked to put runners at first and second


the Bulldogs went to the bullpen, lifting starter Walker Imvalle in favor of hard


throwing Jacob Hargrove. Grant Naylor laid down a nice bunt and when Hargrove


fielded the ball and threw wildly to first base Jacob Taylor was able to race home


from Second base with the game tying run while Johnson advanced to third and


Naylor took second on the costly error. Wallace-Rose Hill intentionally walked


Clinton’s Tyler McNeil to load the bases. With the infield drawn in Kris Royal


hammered a Hargrove pitch into the left centerfield gap for the game winning RBI,


driving Johnson home from third making the final score 2-1 and setting off another


Dark Horse celebration around home plate.


Wyman Faison had two hits, Chandler Whitfield and Jacob Taylor each had one hit


with Chris Royal adding one hit and the game winning RBI for Clinton. The


Bulldog’s Imvalle was nearly as impressive as Purcell in allowing only 4 hits, while


walking three in 6 innings of work. “We have been here before, we waited until the


last minute to get the bats going, this was our fifth walk off win of the year,” said


Clinton’s head coach Tracy Thornton after the game. Thornton continued, saying,


“Alex pitched well again and we played good defense behind him. Grant Naylor did


his job laying down a nice bunt to move the runner and they helped us with the


throwing error, then Kris laced the game winner for us.”


Clinton will head to the playoffs next week, they will travel to either Fairmont or


Reidsville for a first round game depending on the outcome of the West Bladen vs


East Bladen game also being played on Friday night.

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