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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Cloverdale opens season with win

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Cloverdale head coach Bryan Archer (center) talks things over with pitcher Jeff Dale and catcher Austin Mannan during Tuesday's contest with Southmont. [Order this photo]
CLOVERDALE -- The 2010 season started off on a high note for the Cloverdale baseball team Tuesday as it faced a tough Southmont team and picked up the win 9-8.

Senior Jeff Dale got the nod on the mound and put in six powerful innings to help the Clovers defeat the Mounties at home.

"For the first game of the season, I was happy with it offensively," CHS head coach Bryan Archer said. "Offensively, we did pretty well. The guys were aggressive; we had a lot of two-strike hits as I recall, and that shows the guys have a lot of guts and confidence. So, offensively I feel pretty good.

"Jeff Dale -- he did an outstanding job. I mean, six innings -- strong. And we made some errors behind him, which, like I say, defensively we're not there yet. At times we looked good and at times, the sixth inning seventh inning, we just fell apart. But, Jeff did a great job for us," he added.

It was a slow start for the Clovers as they went the first three innings without a run, but their dry spell didn't last long

On hits from Frank Skiles and Trevor Lockwood, Cloverdale was able to put two runs on the board in the third inning. William Whitinger smashed a double to left-center field, but was left stranded as the inning ended.

But Cloverdale's best was yet to come.

In the next inning, Cloverdale exploded for a five-run fifth inning to go up 7-1 with two innings remaining.

Shawn Shipp got things going with a long double to centerfield and Skiles and Dale both recorded 2-RBI hits in the inning. They added another run in sixth inning to go into the final inning with a four-run advantage.

With Dale done for the evening, the Clovers brought in Josh Burdette to close out the game, but things didn't go as planned.

The Mounties were able to collect four runs in the top of the seventh to force the Clovers to come up big in the bottom of the inning or face going to extra innings.

Southmont's pitching helped out the Clovers in a very big way.

Burdette, Whitinger and Austin Mannan drew walks to put the Clovers in prime position to get the win. However, Shipp hit into a double-play that left the outcome of the game in jeopardy, but not for long.

Four pitches later, Southmont's pitcher unleashed a pitch that skirted past the catcher, sending Whitinger flying to the plate to score the winning run.

The Clovers struggled late in the game, amassing numerous fielding errors, but it was something Archer acknowledged and assure would be taken care of.

"Defensively, it's just the routine plays," he said. "Those weren't spectacular hits, they weren't in the gaps -- they were ground balls. And we'll take care of that... we'll take care of that, trust me, this week."

Dale pitched six innings with nine strikeouts and went 3-for-4 at the plate with three RBIs. Shipp, Whitinger and Brian Dale all smashed doubles in the game.

For the team's first outing of the year, Archer thought the team did a fine job.

"For the first game, offensively very happy, defensively obviously we have some things to work on," Archer said. "Pitching was great -- our starting catcher was a freshman and he did pretty well. He did a great job behind the plate for us and I'm glad he's a freshman and I'm going to have him for a few years.

"Jeff (Dale) did great. Overall we played well. What did we have, one bad inning? One-and-two-thirds? Two days off spring break, you know, I'll take a win. First game of the season, take a win and you can't ask for anything else. Defensively, we have some things we need to work on," he concluded.

The Clovers will take on Eminence at 11 a.m. and Turkey Run at 3 p.m. Saturday.

At Cloverdale

Southmont 000 013 4 -- 8 7 X

Cloverdale 000 251 1 -- 9 9 X

WP -- J. Dale

Doubles -- Shipp, B. Dale, Whitinger

Next game -- The Clovers will take on Eminence at 11 a.m. and Turkey Run at 3 p.m. Saturday.