Clinton walks off with another close win

By Mike Carter Sports Writer

May 10, 2014

Clinton hosted Wallace-Rose Hill in a Four County Conference baseball game on

Friday Night. The 2013-2014 edition of Dark Horse baseball has developed a habit

of waiting until the last minute to decide the outcome of their games and this one

proved to be no different. Alex Purcell took the mound for Clinton, allowing the

Bulldogs only one run on 3 hits while striking out 8 batters and giving up only one

walk, pitching another good game for the Dark Horses.

The visitors got on the board first with their lone run in the top of the third when they

got a runner aboard on a one out double and a base hit. Clinton was unable to

answer leaving a runner stranded at third base in the bottom of the fourth and fifth

innings and it was beginning to appear that the Dark Horses would not be able to

get a run across to support Purcell’s fine pitching performance. The Bulldogs put a

runner on base in the top of the sixth on a Dark Horse error and were able to

advance him to second but were unable to drive him home in what would prove to

be their last threat offensively.

The seventh inning brought more of the same with Purcell retiring the visitors in

order in the top of the frame. Clinton finally was able to get the lead off man on base

in the bottom of the second when Jacob Taylor ripped a line drive into leftfield for a

single. Taylor quickly took second on passed ball as Tyler Johnson stood in, pinch

hitting for Alex Purcell. After Johnson walked to put runners at first and second

the Bulldogs went to the bullpen, lifting starter Walker Imvalle in favor of hard

throwing Jacob Hargrove. Grant Naylor laid down a nice bunt and when Hargrove

fielded the ball and threw wildly to first base Jacob Taylor was able to race home

from Second base with the game tying run while Johnson advanced to third and

Naylor took second on the costly error. Wallace-Rose Hill intentionally walked

Clinton’s Tyler McNeil to load the bases. With the infield drawn in Kris Royal

hammered a Hargrove pitch into the left centerfield gap for the game winning RBI,

driving Johnson home from third making the final score 2-1 and setting off another

Dark Horse celebration around home plate.

Wyman Faison had two hits, Chandler Whitfield and Jacob Taylor each had one hit

with Chris Royal adding one hit and the game winning RBI for Clinton. The

Bulldog’s Imvalle was nearly as impressive as Purcell in allowing only 4 hits, while

walking three in 6 innings of work. “We have been here before, we waited until the

last minute to get the bats going, this was our fifth walk off win of the year,” said

Clinton’s head coach Tracy Thornton after the game. Thornton continued, saying,

“Alex pitched well again and we played good defense behind him. Grant Naylor did

his job laying down a nice bunt to move the runner and they helped us with the

throwing error, then Kris laced the game winner for us.”

Clinton will head to the playoffs next week, they will travel to either Fairmont or

Reidsville for a first round game depending on the outcome of the West Bladen vs

East Bladen game also being played on Friday night.