Times Staff Reporter
CLAY CITY -- A strong team effort and a little bit of luck helped Clay City's baseball team defeat the Bloomfield Cardinals 10-0 in five innings Tuesday afternoon.
"It was a big conference win for us, especially after losing last night to Vincennes Rivet," Coach Ryan Swearingen said.
The Eels got off to a hot start in the bottom of the first inning by getting its first seven runners on base to take a 4-0 lead, highlighted by a Ben Dickey triple on the first pitch Clay City faced, and a Will Kennedy three-run home run.
"It was huge for us to start out as fast as we did," Swearingen said. "We came out slow last night and lost, so it was good to see us reverse that today."
The Cardinals couldn't get its bats going against Ryne Hayes, who allowed only two hits and struck out 10 in a dominating performance. The Eels only allowed one runner past first but quickly put an end to the potential threat by catching Bloomfield's Cody Barlow in a rundown between second and third when he overran a double in the fourth inning.
Hayes helped out his own cause in the third inning by singling to center, advancing to third on a two-base throwing error, on a pickoff attempt, by Cardinals' starting pitcher Travis Bowlen and scoring on a wild pitch to push the lead to 5-0.
"Ryne did a great job pitching for us today," Swearingen said. "It was part of a great all-around effort by the entire team today."
The Eels would add a pair in the fourth on a Tyler Bridgewater homer, effectively knocking Bowlen, who gave up seven runs and walked four, out of the game.
However, Bowlen's bad day was not over.
After moving to shortstop in the bottom of the fifth for new pitcher Ben Montgomery, Bowlen booted a ground ball from Clay City's Kyle Grassick, causing the beginning of the end for Bloomfield.
Grassick advanced to second on a D.J. Newton single and ended up on third following a fielder's choice by Dickey, which forced out Newton for the second out of the inning.
Eels' A.J. Evans got a second chance at the plate when he fouled off a 1-2 pitch and Bloomfield's Kaleb Mumma misplayed the ball and watched it drop out of his glove. Evans took the next pitch over the left field wall for a walk-off home run to end the game.
"It certainly was a neat way to end the game," Swearingen said of his team, which is now 5-4 on the season, and 2-2 in SWIAC play.
The Eels face Rockville on the road Thursday, with the first pitch slated for 4:45 p.m.
At Clay City
* Two outs when 10th run scored
2B -- B (Barlow), CC (Kennedy); 3B -- CC (Dickey); HR -- CC (Bridgewater, Evans, Kennedy)
HBP -- B (B. Montgomery by Hayes)
WP -- B (Bowlen)
Next Game: Thursday at Rockville, 4:45 p.m.