JASONVILLE -- Having seven seniors in your starting lineup will generally ease a head baseball coach's mind.
For Clay City coach Michael Owens, he can keep his mind at ease all the way into Wednesday's sectional second round.
Senior Josh Stoelting started on the mound and held White River Valley to just one hit over the first three innings and the graduating class contributed eight hits and nine RBI as the Eels won 12-1 in six innings.
Sophomore Brock Dyer came in to pitch the final three innings and allowed just two hits and a single run in the victory that moved the Eels into round two.
" I think both of our guys pitched well on the mound tonight," commented Owens. "They've really been doing a good job lately. We didn't want either of (Dyer or Stoelting) to have to go too long tonight."
Wolverine errors also helped Clay City, starting in the second inning.
Steven Schopmeyer picked up a one out single to get things started and moved to second when Brandon Wells reached on an error by WRV's shortstop. A second error would allow Ryan Camp to reach base and load the sacks with Eels before Landon Wellman picked up the first RBI of the game when he hit a sacrifice fly. Cody Gerber kept the ball rolling with his bloop single that scored Wells and Elliott Booe reached base when the first baseman bobbled a throw.
Stoelting then ripped a single that scored Camp and Gerber to put the Eels up 4-0.
The Eels added another run in the third inning as Dyer singled to leadoff the inning before Schopmeyer reached on another error after Dyer was forced out at second and Ryan Camp singled. Schopmeyer would score on an outfield error, one of nine errors in the game by the Wolverines.
WRV would score a run in the fourth inning but the Eels came back with a vengeance in the fifth inning with a four spot.
With two outs and Wells on first base, Camp reached on an error by the WRV shortstop and Wellman reached via walk to load the bases. Gerber then drove in a pair of runs with a single, part of his three hit, four RBI night. Stoelting would then bring home a run with a double to bring the score to 9-1.
"Cody (Gerber) had a huge hit for us tonight," commented Owens. "He was inches from a homerun early in the game and it was really big for our seniors to come through tonight. I'm really happy for them."
The Eels capped off their scoring in the sixth inning after Dyer reached base for the third time. Dustin Griffin would pinch run and score on a double by Wellman. Gerber's third hit would then drive home Wells with the final run.
Dyer would finish off the Wolverines with a pair of strikeouts and a lineout in the sixth inning.
"I think it was really key for us to get the type of defensive effort we got tonight," said Owens afterwards. "We've had two games in a row now where we've had a pretty good night defensively. It's a big confidence boost.
The Eels will ride that confidence into Wednesday's second round game against the winner of Monday's Union vs. North Central contest.
Shakamak Baseball Sectional
Clay City 12, White River Valley 1
2B -- Clay City (Stoelting, Wellman).
WP -- Stoelting
LP -- Zimmerly