Clinton’s designated hitter, Davidson Pitts, delivered a pair of hits, a sacrifice bunt and 3 runs batted in as the Red Devils defeated Abbeville, 7-5, on Tuesday night at the CHS diamond.
Center fielder Davis Wilson also had 2 hits and drove in a pair as Clinton (13-5) made the most of 7 hits and 6 Panther errors.
Three Clinton pitchers – Preston Finley, Damian Price and Marcus Smith – combined to keep Abbeville (12-6) at bay. The lefty, Smith, earned the decision with 4 shutout innings, allowing 4 hits and striking out 4.
“We were lucky that we pushed some runs across by forcing the action,” Clinton head coach Sean McCarthy said. “We probably got a little too anxious trying to push the envelope.
“It really wasn’t smart baseball, but sometimes it’s you’d rather be lucky, you know ...”
The Red Devils broke on top with a run in the first inning and 3 in the second, but Abbeville scored 4 in the top of the third. Clinton tied it in the bottom half, but the Panthers took a 5-4 lead with another run in the fourth on Tyler Overholt’s run-producing single. Pitts singled in 2 of Clinton’s 3 runs in the bottom of the fourth.
Smith worked out of a jam when he relieved Price after Thomas Beauford led of the Abbeville fourth with a base hit. After another leadoff single by Jackson Uldrick in the fifth, Smith struck out Hunter Overholt, Evan Sellars and Beauford in order, not to mention Tyler Overholt to lead off the sixth.
The game ended on a 4-6-3 double play – after the leadoff hitter singled in the third of the 4 innings Smith spent on the mound.
Reliever Ty Price took the loss.
Clinton has already earned a spot in the Class 3A playoffs but has two games next week against Chapman that could give the Red Devils the Region 3 title. The Panthers blanked Emerald, 6-0, on Tuesday and play the Vikings again on Friday.
The Red Devils are to visit Inman to play Chapman on Tuesday, May 4, and end the regular season against the Panthers on Friday, May 7, at home. At the moment, Chapman is 7-0 in region play and Clinton is 7-1.
Three batters – Sellars, Tyler Overholt and Price – collected 2 hits each for Abbeville.