STRATTANVILLE, Pa. – Behind a solid pitching performance by Hayden Callen where he retired 17 of the final 19 batters he faced while getting plenty of run support from his teammates, Clarion-Limestone rolled to an 11-4 victory over Karns City on Friday afternoon at the C-L Sports Complex.
(Archived Photo by: Christie Datko)
C-L (8-2 overall), winners of seven straight games, pounded out 13 hits with seven of those going for doubles while scoring runs in every inning but the sixth to pick up the victory.
Tommy Smith and Bryson Huwar each went 3-for-3 at the plate, with Huwar hitting three doubles and driving in a pair of runs. Smith also doubled. Jordan Hesdon and Jake Smith added two hits apiece, including a double. Corbin Coulson, Callen, and Jack Craig each chipped in with one hit. Coulson and Callen each hit a double. Coulson and Hesdon each drove in a pair of runs. Tommy Smith scored three runs while Huwar, Craig, and Jake Smith each scored two runs.
“That’s the most runs we’ve scored all year,” said C-L head coach Todd Smith. “Our guys hit the ball well, and when we got guys on we were able to drive them in for the most part. We’re still working on some things. We just have to stay focused and take things a game at a time and keep improving.”
Callen went the distance allowing four earned runs on five hits. He didn’t walk a batter while striking out 14. He also hit three batters.
“Hayden had that one hiccup where he hit a couple of guys,” said Todd Smith. “Overall though, it was an unbelievable outing for him. Our pitching has been really stepping up for us as we’ve now won seven in a row. We’re starting to gain a lot of confidence as a team.”
The Lions scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning, as Tommy Smith singled and stole second. One out later, Huwar hit a double to drive in Smith. After a ground out, Hesdon singled to drive in Huwar for a 2-0 lead after one.
Karns City scored three runs in the top of the second, as Hunter Troutman hit a one-out single. Jacob Callihan and Mitchell Waldroup were each hit by a pitch to load the bases. Troutman and Callihan each scored on a wild pitch, while Waldroup scored on an RBI single by Cole Sherwin to give the Gremlins a 3-2 lead.
“I went out to the mound and just told Hayden we still had a long way to go,” said Todd Smith. “I’ve seen him pitch enough to know that he would be able to find his way out of things. He certainly did that and pitched phenomenally the rest of the way.”
C-L tied the score at 3-all in the bottom of the inning, as Craig walked after one out and moved to third on a double by Jake Smith. Tommy Smith then hit a sacrifice fly to score Craig.
C-L then took the lead for good in the third inning scoring two runs. Three consecutive doubles by Huwar, Callen, and Hesdon resulted in the two runs for a 5-3 Lions lead.
The Lions then added three runs in the fourth with the help of a pair of Karns City errors. Jake Smith reached second on a throwing error to lead off the inning. Tommy Smith singled before both runners scored on a three-base error off a ball hit by Coulson. Coulson then scored on the third double of the game by Huwar for an 8-3 lead after four.
C-L then scored their final three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. After two outs, the Lions got three straight singles from Craig, Jake Smith, and Tommy Smith. Coulson hit a two-run double with Tommy Smith scoring on a wild pitch to make the score 11-4 after five.
Callen retired the final seven batters he faced after the Gremlins scored their fourth run.
Sherwin collected two hits for Karns City while Mallick Metcalfe, Neff, and Troutman each added one hit.
Metcalfe suffered the loss, allowing five earned runs on seven hits in three innings. He walked one and struck out four.
Karns City got their final run in the fifth inning, as Sherwin singled and moved to second on a wild pitch. After a pair of strikeouts, Mike Neff singled home Sherwin to make the score 8-4.