With the top of the East Central Conference fairly crowded, Clinton entered Friday nights matchup against Spring Creek hoping to solidify themselves among those top teams to close out the regular season. Unfortunately for them, Spring Creek had the same agenda. The visiting Gators outworked and out hit the Dark Horses to earn a 10-4 win to stay in the hunt.
Entering the top of the third inning with the game tied at 2-2, Spring Creek took advantage of timely hits to reclaim the lead.
Christian Yarbrough started the inning off with a triple on a well-hit ball that burned the Clinton outfield. A throw to third was not in time as Yarbrough slid into third with no outs. Two batters later, Jake Edens hit a pop up into shallow right that fell harmlessly to the ground to score Yarbrough and put the Gators back ahead 3-2. Spring Creek earner two more runs on a Jordan Ammons hit to make it 5-2 before Clinton finally shut down the threat.
In the bottom of the inning, the Dark Horses looked poised to answer the call as Trey Warren led off and got aboard after being hit by a pitch. Zack Parker followed up by laying down a pretty bunt that rolled down the first base line. With the bunt being in a tough position the throw to first was errant, resulting in Parker being safe and Warren taking third. Spring Creek was able to pick up an out on an Ashton Tyndall strikeout but Carson Ellis drew a walk to load the bases. After Lee Tyner struck out for out number two, Skyler Cannady advances the runners with an infield single to score Warren. Unfortunately, Clinton squandered the opportunity to inflict more damage as Andrew Thornton was jammed up and his infield fly ball was easily caught to end the threat. At the conclusion of the third inning, the score 5-3 in favor of the Gators.
From there, Spring Creek went on to seize control of the game, scoring two runs in the fourth and fifth innings and one in the sixth en route to the 10-4 victory.
Charles Jordan, Lee Tyner, and Skyler Cannady led Clinton at the plate with two hits each. Parker and Tyndall had one each.
With the loss, Clinton 9-8 overall and 5-4 in the conference.
They will wrap up regular season play next week with Senior Night on Tuesday against Wallace-Rose Hill, followed by trips to Midway and East Duplin on Wednesday and Thursday.
For Spring Creek, the Gators remain in the mix atop the conference with a 8-3 conference record, just behind Midway who has a conference-best two losses, and just ahead of East Duplin who has a 6-3 conference record.