Payton Winship tracked down what will likely stand as the catch of the year for Clarke baseball to keep the Indians in the lead after five full innings of play.
Davis County plated one in the sixth, one more in the seventh and then four more in the eighth, eventually pulling out the win over Clarke.
Up 2-1, Clarke had allowed Davis County to plate a run and load the bases with two outs as the Mustangs threatened to jump out in front for the first time all game.
A Mustang hitter launched a ball into the gap that even Clarke head coach Lonnie Smith thought was going to drop into play.
In center field, Winship sprinted directly to his left, tracked the ball down and left his feet fully parallel to the ground, making the snag at full stretch.
“It was amazing. It had everyone fired up in the whole place, even I was pumped,” said Smith. “I’ve seen that on SportsCenter or Major League Baseball players maybe. When that came off the bat I thought there was no way anyone was catching it.”
Clarke hadn’t scored since the third inning and with everyone spilling out of the dugout to congratulate the senior on his catch, Smith thought it potentially could have sparked some life for the Indians’ offense.
The Indians couldn’t get anything going in the seventh or eighth innings as Davis County tied the contest in the seventh and plated four runs in the eighth en route to a South Central Conference victory.
Winship and Casey Kindred were the only two Indians to register hits in the contest.
In the second inning with runners on first and third, Clarke elected to have Dalton Stubbe squeeze bunt at the plate, which plated the game’s first run.
“We just got to get guys on base. There pitching was pretty good, but we struggled with some strikeouts there in the middle of the order,” said Smith.
Kindred and Zethann May both stole a base in the loss.
On the hill, Kindred threw 5 1/1 innings pitched and allowed just one earned run while striking out eight. Taylor Henry took over for Kindred in the sixth and struck out three in 2 2/3 innings.
“We have to quit beating ourselves,” said Smith. “We made it through six innings tonight and didn’t beat ourselves and then it started there in the seventh. ... It was a tough one.”
Clarke goes 1-2 over the rest of the week
RED OAK – The Indians bounced back with some late scoring in their next contest against Red Oak.
Clarke held a 4-2 lead going into the seventh where the Indians plated seven runs to blow the game open and beat the Tigers 11-2.
Winship went 4-for-5 at the plate with a double and an RBI. Conner Deutsch and May each recorded three RBIs in the win.
Deutsch, May and Will Smith also smashed doubles in the victory.
Marshall Morrison went six strong innings in his start on the hill, picking up the winning decision while striking out six batters in 104 pitches.
Morrison, Smith, Kindred, Morrison and Matthew Stickels also each plated an RBI in the win.
Centerville 7, Clarke 2
OTTUMWA – Clarke fell behind 6-0 to Centerville Friday before plating two runs in the sixth on the way to a 7-2 loss.
Deutsch drove in a run at the plate while Kindred went 2-3 on the day at the dish as well.
Deutsch also got the starting nod, going 3 1/3 innings of work and striking out five. May took over for the senior, throwing 2 2/3 innings with three strikeouts.
Clarke fell to Saydel 9-5 Saturday. Complete stats for the contest were unavailable as of Tuesday afternoon.