Clarkdale squeaks by Seminary
By By Fredie Carmichael/Special to The Star
April 11, 2001
Momentum is something that can win or lose ball games. But as was the case this Tuesday night at Clarkdale, it's how a team responds to that momentum that can sometimes make the biggest difference.
Clarkdale (21-5) moved to 9-2 in division 7-2A as it answered every Seminary charge and put away the visiting Bulldogs 13-10. Roland Gatlin's crew had to respond to two four-run innings by Seminary in order to survive.
Leading 10-6 heading into the top of the sixth inning, CHS ace Chris Moffett was looking to put the finishing touches on Seminary. After walking the first two Seminary batters of the inning, Moffett promptly whiffed his seventh batter of the night to get the first out of the inning. That's when things began to crumble for the Bulldogs.
Seminary scored two runs on an error and a third when Moffett's third strike pitch to Timothy Lett got away from Clarkdale catcher-Thomas Walters- which allowed another SHS to get on the board, making it 10-9.
After throwing120 pitches on the night, Moffett left the mound as Matt Minchew came on in relief to finish out the inning. With the bases already loaded, Minchew walked in the game-tying run. The CHS senior gutted it up though and struck out Denton Knight to get out of the jam and the inning with the game knotted at 10 apiece.
As they had done all night, Clarkdale once again answered the call. Brandon Mabry led off the bottom of the sixth with a roped double down the left field line and the Bulldogs had the go-ahead run in scoring position. Minchew then stepped to the plate and laid down a perfect bunt that advanced Mabry to third.
Moffett got behind in the count with two quick strikes before stroking a clutch single to left that gave CHS the go-ahead run. Junior Bulldog Jefferey Stokes put the nail in the coffin as he murdered a two-run shot over the right field wall to make it 13-10 Clarkdale.
Minchew made sure that Seminary wasn't able to make another charge as he struck out the side to preserve the victory. "It felt good to come and finish the game out after getting off to a shaky start," Minchew said following the game. "I settled down and started throwing the ball a little harder there towards the end."
Clarkdale had to endure an early 4-0 deficit as Seminary's Denton Knight ripped a 3-run homer in the top of the first that got the visitors started. CHS used three hits and six walks that plated 7 Bulldogs to answer in the bottom of the first inning as they took the 7-4 lead.
Mabry led the way for Clarkdale with a double and a single while Michew chipped in with two singles and picked up the win on the mound.