CLOVERDALE -- It was still a bit moist, and some seating might have had to have changed, but Baseball was finally back in play at Cloverdale Saturday morning.
Having only played and beaten Cascade twice over an 11 day period, the Clovers kept the momentum going as they battered around Union (Dugger) in a doubleheader, winning by scores of 13-0 and 10-0, both in five innings.
The Clovers hammered the ball every which way in the first game, with pitcher Justin Wilson never allowing the Bulldogs to get any sort of rhythm going with the bats.
Things did not go as smoothly early on in the second game for the Clovers. The Bulldogs threatened to take an early lead with a walk and two singles, but a base running error cut the lead man down at third base, allowing the Clovers to escape the jam.
It would take some time before the Clover bats came alive again in game two, as well. Cloverdale only scored once in the first three innings, giving some hope to the visitors that they could hang in the game.
That would be short lived as the hosts began to wear out Union in the fourth inning. As pitcher Jordan Brinkman had settled into a groove after the first inning, the Bulldogs could not threaten on offense, just as Cloverdale began to pick up the pace.
Three runs would score in the bottom of the fourth. A walk to Josh Burdette was followed by a Brinkman double that plated Burdette, an Ethan Atwood single scored Brinkman, a walk to Brian Dale and a wild pitch with Austin Mannan at bat that allowed Atwood to come in.
Union's pitching fell apart in the fifth with three separate hurlers unable to stop the runs from flowing. Shawn Shipp lead off with a bunt single and after a fly out, was advanced when Will Andersen bunted over the pitcher's head for another single.
Burdette singled to drive in both runners before another fly out left the Clovers with two outs. However, four consecutive walks to Brinkman, Atwood, Dale and Mannan pushed two more runs across the plate before Shipp singled to plate the winning runs.
It was a solid day of action, one that left Clover head coach Bryan Archer feeling pretty good about his squad.
"Today, before the game, we talked about continuing to play like we did against Cascade. Those two wins against Cascade really got the guys going and we played well all around," Archer said.
"Our focus today was putting everything together. We were aggressive at the plate and on the bases. We also had good pitching and defense."
It was a recipe for success and the Clovers carried it out without much fuss in the first game.
"Justin Wilson pitched and did well, only giving up two hits. Our defense did great behind him. At the plate, we were smart and aggressive and when we had our big innings, we had an approach where we weren't going to take anything out of the zone and wait for our pitch," Archer said.
That wasn't the case early in the second game. A sluggish start was finally finished in style, but it wasn't quite up to the standard Archer saw in the first game.
"It did take us a few innings to get going. That's a mental thing and that's my job to get them out of that funk. After the first couple of innings, we started putting some hits together and were aggressive on the bases," Archer said.
"We went back to being smart and waiting for our pitch when we were ahead in the count. We didn't chase pitches, put the ball in play and made things happen."
"We played a little bit of small ball in the third inning to get things going. The guys did a good job of putting the ball in play and doing what they were asked to do," Archer added.
Even with all of the wacky weather, Cloverdale's schedule hadn't been affected like many other school's had. A trip to Eminence and a home game with Clay City come next, but as Archer would say, the momentum must continue to build.
"Right now, we have two games scheduled a week for the next two weeks. We're going to try to get Linton in next week, so there's a chance we could play Tuesday (Eminence), Wednesday (Linton) and Thursday (Clay City). What I'm looking forward to in the next couple of weeks is getting ready for county," Archer said.
"We have four or five non-conference games, so we want to keep this momentum going. We want to keep playing good all-around ball like we have been with good pitching, hitting and defense, and hopefully we'll be ready for county."
Cloverdale 13, Union 0 (5 innings)
WP -- Wilson (4-3)
Union 000 00X X -- 0 5 0
Cloverdale 001 36X X -- 10 9 0
WP -- Brinkman (1-2)
Next Game: Cloverdale travels to Eminence Tuesday at 4:30.