The frustrations from a tough 7-6 loss by North Clay to South Central Tuesday were relieved on the field Wednesday, as the Cardinals blasted the Sandoval Blackhawks 16-0 in five innings.
North Clay fell just short Tuesday, coming back from a 7-2 deficit in the seventh only to lose to a team they’d beaten Saturday.
But the bats got going early and got going often, as North Clay scored in every inning and made quick work of their Midland Trail Conference foe.
“After a tough loss last night against a good South Central team, we needed something like this,” said North Clay coach John Frech. “We’ve still got a long way to go, we’re making a lot of amateur errors.”
In the first, they didn’t need the bats so much as the batters, as Lawson Britton scored after a leadoff walk and Dylan Bailey had an RBI fielder’s choice, scoring on an error to make it 2-0.
Britton knocked in McNeely with an infield single in the second and Adam Cox followed that up with a two-out, two-run home run to make it 5-0 and the rout was on.
Bailey pitched four shutout innings, allowing three hits and no walks while striking out five batters.
Frech said Bailey has stepped up in his first year as a pitcher.
“He’s been a good pitcher, we’ve been throwing him all the conference games, so it’s a good time for to take off and get that exposure,” he said. “He throws well.”
North Clay sent 14 batters to the plate in the third inning, with 12 of the first 13 reaching and scoring nine runs before a pitching change. The Cardinals were aggressive on the basepaths as well, stealing seven bases.
Starting in the third inning, Dylan Walker got his bat going, first with an RBI single and then a three-run double late in the third, and driving in two with two outs in the fourth to finish 3-for-4 with six RBIs.
“He needed that as well,” Frech said. “A lot of guys needed this game to get going and aren’t swinging the way us as coaches think they should. Maybe this is a catalyst to get us going forward.”
Britton was 3-for-3 with four runs and two RBIs, Cox drove in two with a 1-for-3 day, and the rest of the offense was rather spread out.
Brandon Repking pitched the final inning, retiring the Blackhawks in order.
North Clay improves to 11-6-1 and 4-0 in the MTC and host the Centralia Orphans Friday afternoon.
Sandoval 000 00 0 3 6
North Clay 239 2X 16 11 0
WP - Bailey (4 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 5 K, 0 BB) LP - Orell (2.1 IP, 8 H, 14 R, 2 K, 7 BB)
Sandoval: Kibler (1-2); Johnson (1-2, SB); Boatright (1-1)
North Clay: Britton (3-3, 2B, 2 RBI, 4 R, 2 SB); Cox (1-3, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, HBP); Clifton (1-1, RBI, R, SB); Van Dyke (0-0, R, HBP); Bailey (0-2, RBI, 2 R, SB); Byers (1-3, 2B, RBI, 2 R); Walker (3-4, 2B, 6 RBI); Stinnett (1-3); McNeely (0-1, 2 R, 2 BB, SB); Warren (1-2, R)