Led by stellar play around the diamond, the Laurens Raiders beat Clinton 9-2 on Saturday afternoon, sweeping the series on the Red Devils’ home field.
Similar to Thursday night’s “is that a typo?” game, one in which the Raiders prevailed 20-15, Laurens (7-3) jumped out to a big lead quickly.
The Raiders notched 3 runs in the top of the first inning, 2 of which came from a Jackson Martin double that plated Mason Hamby and Zak Rice. Sulli Pinson then knocked Rice in with a single. Clinton was held scoreless in its half of the inning.
The real damage came in the top of the second for the Raiders.
Hamby knocked in 2 more runs with a single to make it 5-0. Rice added another hit to make it 6-0, Zach Faulkner doubled and scored another run to make it 7-0, and Jackson Martin put the finishing touch on the inning with a sacrifice fly that scored the eighth run.
On the mound for the Raiders was Kalob Hamilton. Hamilton pitched four innings only allowing 2 hits and 1 earned run and earned his first victory of the season. Nolan Marion entered in the fifth inning and pitched 3 innings of 1-run ball and earned a non-typical save for the Raiders. (A save can be earned by pitching 3+ innings and finishing the game in an otherwise non-save situation.)
Head Coach Tori Patterson had nothing but praise for his pitching on Saturday.
“Today was awesome,” he said. “That was [Hamilton’s] first start of the year. Actually, that was his first time pitching this year, and he came out and did well.
“And Nolan, that was second time pitching this year, so we got some guys that haven’t gotten a lot of time but they came in and made the best of their opportunities.”
Hamby set the tone offensively for the Raiders, going 4-5 on the day with an RBI. Rice went 2-3 with 2 RBI and Martin went 1-3 with 3.
The Red Devils’ only 2 runs came in the fifth inning from a Davidson Pitts single and a bases-loaded walk from R.T. Corley in the sixth.
Clinton (6-4), which was coming off a 6-5 victory on Friday night at Broome, will look to get back in the win column as Saluda visits on Monday night, and Laurens will look to follow up its victory when Wade Hampton pays a visit Tuesday night.