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Clarke struggles against Big Reds

Clarke baseball lost the season series to Centerville with an 8-1 loss Thursday after finishing the June 26 game with a 14-10 loss that was postponed due to weather.

Centerville entered the first game with an 11-10 lead before hitting the ball to all fields. With two runners on, a blast to center off the top of the wall drove in two more. Another single pushed the lead to 14-10. Clarke went down in order to end the game.

Clarke head coach Lonnie Smith said the team came out and didn’t do anything wrong, Centerville just started out hot, hitting the ball hard in the right spots against a defensive shift.

In the second game of the afternoon, Centerville took a 3-0 behind a trio of RBI singles. Clarke’s defense gave up two errors on the inning, not coming out with the energy to keep up with a strong Centerville team.

“We came out flat, and we gave up runs right away in the first inning,” Smith said. “Our heads just weren’t really in it, and we talked after that first half inning. ... We came off the field, talked a little bit and we played a much better game after that.”

Zethann May settled down after the first inning on the mound. May allowed one base runner from the second through the fourth inning. He pitched 6 2/3 innings, striking out eight batters and allowing five earned runs.

The Indians pushed across a run in the third inning. Nick Neer started the inning off with a single through the left side, coming around to score on an RBI double from May to cut the score to 3-1.

Smith said the team hit the ball better than it had since the last time Clarke played Centerville. Through the five games between, the Indians scored six runs, being outscored 34-6 during the five-game stretch.

On third, Will Smith attempted a squeeze bunt, but the ball went foul. May attempted to steal home to give the team a spark but was thrown out for the second out of the inning. The out ended the rally the Indians had going in the third.

“When we tried to squeeze, he had the base stolen, He was there, but we fouled off the bunt,” Smith said. “It was a perfect bunt, it just got down the line a little too far and hit the lip and just rolled an inch outside the line. (May) had the base stolen, even if he missed it.”

The third time through the order, the Big Reds’ offense started to hit the ball hard to all fields. Five hits in the sixth inning, paired with two errors, pushed across four runs for Centerville, giving the Big Reds a 7-1 lead.

Centerville pushed across one more run in the top of the seventh on an RBI single.

With the year winding down, Smith said the season, even shortened, has been a grind playing so many games in a constrained time frame. But, with the postseason right around the corner, the team is going to have to find a way to re-energize itself.

“We kind of need to find that fire and energy that we had at the beginning of the season,” Smith said. “I think we’re going to come around to that here over these next few days. We’re going to get the guys rested up a bit.”

Centerville 8, Clarke 1

R H E

CV 300 004 1— 4 8 1

CL 001 000 0— 6 10 2

CV: Myles Clawson 5IP 4Ks 1BB, McCain Oden 2IP 4Ks 0BB and Kolby Micetich. CL: Zethann May 6 2/3IP 2Ks 2BB, Jayden Giza 1/3IP 0K 0BB and Will Smith. W — Clawson. L – May. HR — None. 3B — None. 2B — CV: Oden, Micetich. CL: Casey Kindred. RBI — CV: Micetich (4), Otis Williams (1). CL: Kindred (1).

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