CLAY CITY -- Eight long years had gone by since Clay City's baseball program had tasted victory against Shakamak.
On Monday night, the long wait came to an end when the Eels handed the Class A sixth-ranked Lakers a 5-4 defeat in Clay City.
"This is a huge win for us," commented coach Ryan Swearingen. "It's been a long time since we've beat them, but I knew if we played well we could do it."
Clay City fell behind 1-0 in the second inning, but the Eels got the first big blow of the game when Will Kennedy drilled a three-run homerun.
With Ryne Hayes on the mound, the Eels were able to manage any potential Shakamak rallies and keep the Lakers' outbursts limited.
Shakamak scored a single run in the fourth inning, but Clay City answered with one of its own in the bottom of the fifth to maintain a two-run advantage.
The Eels showed their poise when Shakamak rallied for two runs in the sixth inning to tie the game at 4-all, but Hayes helped his own cause by going deep in the bottom half of the frame for the eventual game-winner.
"Ryne pitched a great game," commented Swearingen of his 4-0 starter. "It got a little nerve wracking at the end, but it was OK with Hayes on the mound."
Hayes went the distance with seven innings pitched, allowing four runs on seven hits and striking out nine.
Tyler Bridgewater smacked two hits and scored a run and both Ben Dickey and Gus Camp had hits. Kyler Rhodes added a hit and an RBI in the victory.
"We should gain confidence for the sectional," said Swearingen. "It's always good to beat a ranked team, but the last two years we've played them in the sectional championship game."
The win pushes Clay City's record to 7-5 overall and 3-1 in the Tri-River Conference.
Clay City travels to Eminence today for a 4:30 p.m. contest.
At Clay City
Hayes (W) and M.Vansickle; Hill, Bennett (6) and Orton.
HR -- CC (Kennedy, Hayes).
|Hayes (W, 4-0)||7.0||4||7||4||9|