Clovers crush Cadets to climb back into WCC contention
CLOVERDALE -- With the springtime weather finally breaking long enough for some patches of grass to dry out, Cloverdale's baseball squad picked up one of its delayed outings by hammering Cascade 9-1.
The win strengthened the Clovers (8-2, 6-1 WCC) position in the West Central Conference race having now completed most of their conference games.
The hosts started off the game with a two-out rally in the bottom of the first. A Will Andersen single and walks to Cody and Tyler Carter set the stage for a two-RBI double by Kade Schroer.
Brody Pfaff applied the finishing touch of the inning with a three-run home run to give the Clovers a 5-0 lead.
Cloverdale head coach Bryan Archer said the first inning was exactly what the squad needed to do Wednesday.
"Offensively, we jumped out early and had some hits going," Archer said. "We had a lot of great at-bats in that first inning. We knew their pitcher was going to throw strikes and told them to jump out early on them."
Plate patience would be important for the rest of the Cloverdale runs as the squad only collected a single hit for the rest of the night.
A pair of walks to lead off the fourth inning came back to hurt Cascade after Andersen singled in Andrew Howard, then Austin Mannan scored Justin Wilson on a fielder's choice.
The Cadets scored their only run of the game in the top of the fifth through a Sean Bayse single that plated Landon Montgomery.
Cloverdale padded its lead in the sixth when Wilson led off the inning by being hit by a pitch, stole second and scored on a Cadet error. Andersen scored later in the inning off a passed ball to complete the nine run outing.
Tyler Carter got the win on the mound for the Clovers, pitching five innings and giving up the solitary run while striking out six. Cody Carter and Anderson each pitched an inning in relief.
Given the stop-start nature of the past two weeks, Archer said the squad responded well after having the schedule changed so often over that time frame.
"It has been a challenge keeping these guys motivated indoors," Archer said. "We've come up with a few things. We watched movie clips Tuesday, looking for motivational things and gave them a chance to rest.
"This group, though, is ready to play. Regardless of having such a long wait between games, when the time comes they're ready to go. They don't want to miss any games."
Cloverdale will get a chance to stake a major claim in the WCC race as it makes up its second game with North Putnam Thursday night.
Having played two conference games already this week, Archer said that the game would depend on the battle on the mound.
"It comes down to pitching," Archer said. "We have a strategy as to who they're going to throw and who we're going to throw. Luckily, we have some live arms this year.
"Pitching is the main issue with playing back-to-back conference games. We want to win both, so we have to do a good job of taking care of our arms and pitching the guys we want to in certain situations.
"Hitting and defense are constants with this team. That's everyday stuff for this team. Pitching is our biggest question and I think we've done a good job of setting our rotation up in a way where we can compete in every game."
Cascade 000 010 0 -- 1 1 3
Cloverdale 500 101 X -- 9 4 0
WP -- T. Carter (3-0)
LP -- Bayse (1-3)
HR -- Pfaff (1)
Next Game: Cloverdale travels to North Putnam Thursday.