For the second consecutive night the Dark Horse nine took advantage of solid pitching and capitalized on their opponent’s miscues to build a large lead and pick up another Four County Conference win. Clinton hosted Union in a game that had twice been rescheduled due to rain, and sent the Spartans home with an 8-1 defeat on Wednesday night.
Clinton scored two runs in the bottom of the second inning when Bailey Spell reached base on an error, Kris Royal walked and both scored when Union’s right fielder misplayed a ball hit by Grant Naylor. The Dark Horses added two more runs in the bottom of the third with Chandler Whitfield leading off with a walk then scoring when the Union committed an error on Jake Taylor’s ground ball allowing Whitfield to score and Taylor to advance to third base. Taylor scored on a fielders choice by Jonathan Wright to give Clinton a commanding 4-0 lead.
Clinton’s Grant Naylor got aboard on an error with two outs in the bottom of the fourth and advanced to second on an error by Union’s shortstop on a ball hit by Tyler Johnson. Naylor and Johnson both took a base on a passed ball giving Clinton runners at second and third. Clinton’s next batter, Chandler Whitfield, put the ball in play and Union once again misplayed a ball in rightfield, allowing both Naylor and Johnson to score giving the Horses a 6-0 lead. Clinton picked up two more runs in the bottom of the sixth, when Chase Jacobs led off with a walk and moved to third on Jake Taylor’s double to give the Horses runners at second and third with one out. Jonathan Wright singled to right, driving in both Jacobs and Taylor to give Clinton an 8-0 lead heading into the final frame.
Union finally got on the scoreboard when Tyler Matthis led off the inning with a double and advanced to third on a throwing error when it appeared that he had been caught in a rundown by Clinton’s Kris Royal. Matthis scored on a 1-6-3 double play to give the Spartans their lone run.
Jonathan Wright pitched 6 solid innings for Clinton and Kris Royal came in to work the seventh and close out the Spartans. The Dark Horses were led at the plate by Jake Taylor who went 1-4 with a double, Jonathan Wright and Bailey Spell each hit singles for the Horses. The story of the night was clearly Union’s inability to make defensive plays and Clinton’s ability to take advantage of these miscues.
After the game, Clinton head coach Thornton said, “I am just glad to get the win. We have to play much better than we did tonight if we hope to continue to have a shot at winning the conference.”
The win improves Clinton’s record to 11-2 overalll and 8-1 in Four County Conference play. The Dark Horses will host East Bladen on Friday night at 7pm. The loss drops Union to 1-9 overall and 1-7 in Four County Conference action. The Spartans will travel to Trask on Friday.