Red Devils bite Bulldogs again for district championship
Red Devils begin Upper State round at Union County Thursday
The late-inning drama centered around whether Clinton could put a couple of runs on the scoreboard to end the Class 3A District 2 Championship Game Monday in the fifth with the 10-run mercy rule.
Mission accomplished: The Red Devils, who were coming off of a stirring come-from-behind win over Wren on Thursday to get to the district title game, downed visiting Pendleton 11-1 in five innings Monday night.
In the fifth, Brice Young reached on a walk and later scored on a Zach Fortman sacrifice bunt. Zane McLendon also reached on a walk and went to second on Fortman’s sacrifice. McLendon took third on a wild pitch and scored the walk-off run on a throwing error by Bulldogs catcher Aedon Queen.
Clinton starter Carson Glenn worked himself out of a first-inning, bases-loaded jam that seemed all-too familiar after the Wren victory, but Glenn struck out the final two batters he faced in the inning to end the threat.
The Red Devils took advantage, scoring three quick runs in the home first and led 9-0 before the Bulldogs got on the scoreboard in the fifth.
Glenn scattered six hits over four innings, struck out three and walked three. Caleb Taylor pitched the final inning.
Both pitchers were helped by a defensive performance that erased Pendleton base runners the entire game.
Brice Young deftly fielded two hard-hit line drives and turned them into double plays – one of which was unassisted at second base. Glenn picked off four baserunners, including two in the third inning.
“That shut them down on some big innings,” Clinton head coach Sean McCarthy said. “It was a huge defensive game, and it makes up for our performance the other day.”
Starter Brantley Major gave up 10 hits and nine runs – all of them earned – for the Bulldogs (12-15).
Justin Copeland went 3-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI, and Wil Stewart went 2-for-2 with two runs scored and two driven in. Copeland is batting .700 (7-for-10) with four runs scored and four RBI during the playoffs.
With the victory, the Red Devils (21-3) will begin play for the Class 3A Upper State Championship at Union County at 6 p.m. Thursday.