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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Cloverdale sweeps Bulldogs

Monday, April 30, 2012

Cloverdale's Cody Carter, shown here against Cascade, picked the win in game two against Union Dugger Saturday. Carter strikeout 10, while allowing just two hits. [Order this photo]
CLOVERDALE -- Cloverdale's baseball squad picked up a pair of wins Saturday by knocking off Union (Dugger) 12-2 and 5-2.

Rain threatened to derail the day's games, but after an hour and a half, play began and the Clovers quickly dispatched the Bulldogs in the first game behind the arm of Justin Wilson.

Game two proved to be more challenging as the Clovers, having lost four of their last five games coming into Saturday, found the offensive verve of the first game missing.

All the damage for the hosts came in the third inning when the Clovers sent 10 batters to the plate. William Whitinger led off with a single, stole second and reached third on a passed ball.

Will Andersen walked and stole second and after Trevor Lockwood was hit by a pitch, Mannan scored two on a double.

Lockwood and Mannan scored off several passed balls in a row from the Bulldogs. Brian Dale and Ethan Atwood singled, followed by a Wilson hit that plated the fifth run of the inning for the Clovers.

With runners on second and third, though, the Clovers failed to add to their score after consecutive outs ended the inning.

The five runs were enough for starting pitcher Cody Carter, who only ran into trouble late in the contest.

Trouble loomed in the sixth as Carter allowed a base runner to reach third for the first time in the game, only to strike out the next three batters to end the inning.

Carter was finally touched up in the seventh inning after walking the first three batters. After a fielder's choice went awry, Carter allowed a single to plate a second runner before finishing off the game with a strikeout and groundout.

In total, Carter stuck out 10, walked five and gave up two hits to pick up his second win of the year.

Cloverdale head coach Bryan Archer said the first game was a solid start for the squad.

"The first game went pretty well. We had some good at-bats and had the right approach for the most part. We played solid defense and had good pitching," Archer said.

"Justin did a good job of throwing strikes and getting ahead of the hitters. That gave our defense a lot of confidence and they played well."

Archer talked about the patience his team exhibited at the plate.

"At the plate, our approach was that the first swing was for the pitch that we wanted. We weren't going to chase anything and we had a lot of great at-bats," Archer added.

By the time the second game rolled around, Archer said that the offensive approach seemed to have faded back to old habits.

"Something we've been talking about lately has been keeping the ball on the ground or line drives. We want defense to make plays and earn outs. We got the ball up in the air too much," Archer said.

"The second pitcher threw well. He had a good curveball and we were trying to be aggressive early in the count. When we got down in the count, we had to chase pitches out of the zone.

"The lack of run producing was from popping the ball up too much and being down in the count too often. Those are things we'll talk about Monday but we've got to keep the pressure on the defense," Archer said.

Archer added that pitcher Cody Carter kept the squad in the game with a strong performance.

"Cody did well. He didn't give up a hit until the sixth inning. He did a really good job of throwing strikes and mixing up his pitches. He had their hitters off balance for the most part. He did a great job," Archer said.

With a break in conference play, Archer said the squad will be preparing for the hard-hitting final few weeks of the season.

"These next two weeks are probably going to be the most intense two weeks we've had as far as practices go. We've got to get ourselves ready in these next two weeks for county, conference, sectionals and all that," Archer said.

"There's going to be a lot of perfection that we'll work for. A lot of the little things have come and gone throughout the season thus far," Archer added.

"We're going to pay attention to and really focus on getting those things down by the time the county tournament rolls around."

Cloverdale will be back in action Tuesday when it hosts Eminence at 5 p.m.

At Cloverdale

Game One

Cloverdale 12, Union 2

WP -- Wilson (5-3)

Game Two

Union 000 000 2 -- 2 2 0

Cloverdale 005 000 X -- 5 8 0

WP -- C. Carter (2-0)

Next game -- Cloverdale hosts Eminence on Tuesday.