Even a 14-4 score – in Clinton’s baseball victory over Saluda on Monday night – can provide spine-tingling excitement.
As a warm day gave way to a chill evening, the Red Devils entered the bottom of the fifth inning needing 3 runs to send the fans home early, and it’s likely that’s what most of those assembled at the Red Devils’ home park wanted.
Three runs the Devils needed, and 3 runs the Devils got.
Clinton (7-4) had scored 2 runs in the first inning, 7 in the second and 1 in the third. As it turned out, the Red Devils, who took advantage of 10 hits, 5 walks, 2 batters hit and 4 Tiger errors, scored at least once in every inning.
Saluda (3-7) scored 3 fourth-inning runs without a hit and another, on Matt Sheaffer’s RBI single, in the fourth.
Right fielder Noah Reece was Clinton’s biggest instigator of mayhem. He singled in the first, doubled in the second and tripled in the fourth. In the fifth, Reece was out at first base, but the grounder ended the game because it allowed Noah Laws to score and activate the 10-run rule with Clinton’s 14th. Reece had already driven in 2.
Davis Wilson, who started in center field and ended it on the mound, went 2-for-3. Right fielder Wilson Wages was 2-for-2 and scored twice. Davidson Pitts drove in 2 with a second-inning sacrifice fly and a fourth-inning single.
Lefthander Marcus Smith struck out 6 and gave up only a hit in 3-plus innings on the hill, but couldn’t find the plate in the fourth and yielded to Wilson, who also gave up a hit, also struck out 6 but gave up the only earned run. All 3 charged to Smith were unearned.
Losing pitcher Emmanuel Dominguez gave up 6 hits and 8 runs, but 6 were unearned. Trent Roth and Jesse Ouzts followed him to the mound with little distinction.
Clinton is back at home on Tuesday, with the C team providing the intro at 5 to the varsity game afterward with Whitmire.