While the Eagles never enjoyed a lead, they kept nipping at the Clovers' heels all evening, never allowing the Clovers to relax. However, it was Cloverdale who flexed some muscle early on.
"They did a great job at the plate as well -- that was a dogfight," CHS head coach Bryan Archer said. "At no point in this game did I think we were safe. The bats were going, both teams were scoring runs and that's not a knock on the pitching or the defense because I don't think there were many errors, but the pitchers threw well for both sides and the bats were really going tonight.
"I was really impressed with their hitting and I thought we did a good job of being aggressive at the plate as well. We scored a lot of runs, but the way both teams were hitting we had to," he added.
In the top of the first, Jordan Brinkman began the game with a single and was brought home on a double from Ethan Atwood. Brian Dale reached on a walk and the Clovers loaded the bases with a single from Shawn Shipp and a walk by Frankie Skiles. Usually bases loaded and your No. 7 hitter coming to the plate isn't a recipe for success, but it worked out well for the Clovers.
With a count of one strike and one ball, sophomore Austin Mannan took the next pitch and deposited the Grant Zimmerman offering over the fence for a base-clearing grand slam, putting the Clovers up 5-0.
The big lead was short lived as South Putnam put up two of its own in the bottom of the first when Rob Gibson and Zimmerman scored to cut the lead to 5-2. In the second inning, the Eagles were able to knot the game at 5-all with three runs scored, and one play you don't see too often.
In the third inning, Logan White, Gibson and Zimmerman all scored, but it was Gibson's run that shocked the crowd. Gibson sat on third eyeing the plate, watching the rhythm of Cloverdale catcher Mannan. As Mannan took a pitch from Jordan Brinkman and began to toss it back, Gibson made a break for home and cruised across the plate before most people knew what happened.
After a scoreless third inning for both teams, Cloverdale took a 7-5 advantage, but South quickly responded and tied the game once again in the bottom of the fifth inning.
With the scored tied 7-all going into the top of the sixth inning, it looked as if South Putnam was mounting a charge that would earn them a lead in the later innings. But Cloverdale was able to find its big bats for one final flurry which gave them enough of a cushion to breath a little easier.
The Clovers hit through their lineup in the sixth inning as South Putnam committed three errors allowing Cloverdale to keep men coming to the plate. A three-run homer by Brinkman to put the Clovers on top 15-7 capped the sixth inning barrage.
But as they had all night, South Putnam responded with three runs of its own with Seth Hammond recording an RBI and White smacking an RBI double to the fence. Justin Bumgardner was just inches away from making things even more interesting, but his towering shot to left field was hauled in at the fence.
Cloverdale added two more runs in the top of the seventh inning to take home its 17-10 win over the Eagles.
Gibson led the Eagles going 2-for-3 with a score and four stolen bases, while White was 1-for-3 with an RBI. J.D. Briones was 1-for-4 with two RBIs for the Eagles.
Mannan had a monster game for CHS, going 3-for-5 with a grand slam and five RBIs. Brinkman added a three-run homer and Shipp was 3-for-5 with a double and two RBIs.
Cloverdale sent three pitchers to the mound Tuesday and the trio gave their head coaches exactly what he was looking for.
"Giving up 10 runs, I don't like that part of it, but the rotation series that we did there with (Jordan) Brinkman, (Justin) Wilson and (Brian) Dale that was something I've been looking forward to doing and just seeing how that worked out and it worked out pretty well," Archer said.
The two teams with tangle again tonight as the Clovers host South Putnam at 4:30 p.m. and according to Archer, it should be another fun one to watch.
"That's the fun part about it, we get to do it all over again tomorrow and the way it showed today looks like it's going to be another great game," he said.
At South Putnam
Cloverdale 500 208 2 -- 17 12 1
South Putnam 230 023 0 -- 10 8 4
WP -- Brinkman
LP -- Zimmerman
HR -- Mannan (GS) (CHS), Brinkman (CHS)
2B -- Gibson (SP), White (SP); Atwood (CHS),