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Clinton wins 3A baseball title, downs Hawks 5-4


Clinton’s Justin Copeland had to be talked into playing baseball before the season began – a season that ended Tuesday night with Copeland scoring the game-winning run in a 5-4 victory over Hanahan for the Class 3A State Championship.

The Red Devils swept the best-of-three series with a 17-2 victory Saturday and Tuesday’s nail-biter to win the school’s first baseball state title since 1961. Clinton won eight straight playoff games without a loss en route to the title.

Clinton’s Justin Copeland (5) scores the game-winning run an errant throw. Copeland went from first to third on a sacrifice bunt by Caleb Taylor (8).

With the game tied at 4-4 in the sixth, Copeland led off with a walk, went from first to third on a sacrifice bunt by Caleb Taylor and scored on an errant throw to third by Hanahan first baseman Hunter Gomes.

“This is a crazy experience because it’s my first year back (in baseball) in three years and my first year on varsity, so I’m thankful for (teammate) Wilson (Wages) and Coach Mac (Sean McCarthy) encouraging me to play this year,” Copeland said.

Left-hander Carson Glenn pitched three scoreless innings of relief to pick up his fifth win of the playoffs, including both against Hanahan (26-9). Glenn allowed two hits, walked three and struck out two.

The Red Devils (26-3) handed starter Wil Stewart a 4-0 lead in the first inning as Hanahan starter Gabe Dotterweich walked the first two batters he faced and then allowed a two-run single to Wages that scored lead-off batter Zane McLendon and Zach Fortman.

Clinton loaded the bases when Stewart was hit by a pitch, and Luke Young followed with an RBI single that scored Wages, who had reached third on a balk.

Brett Young added a sacrifice fly to right field that scored courtesy runner Tanner Kyko for a 4-0 lead.

Hanahan’s Brayden Joseph and Camden Kackley had back-to-back RBI singles as part of a three-run second inning.

Joseph added an RBI groundout in the fourth that tied the score at 4-4.

Dotterweich recovered from his rocky start in the first for a complete game with four walks and five strikeouts.

The Hawks out-hit the Red Devils 8-4, but McCarthy said there are no style points in baseball.

“At the end of the day, the ‘W’ was here, and we’re bringing home a state title because of young men who worked really hard and believed in a simple thing.”

That “simple thing” was playing what McCarthy calls “execution-styled” baseball in Clinton’s large home ballpark that is usually bereft of home runs.

“I can’t say enough about these young men,” McCarthy said. “You’ve got to accept that style, and a lot of people won’t.”

McCarthy said the tense game kept his heart in his throat as the innings wore on, but that finally ended when Gomes hit a routine grounder to second baseman Bryce Young, who managed a smile that McCarthy glimpsed just before Young recorded the final out.

“It’s almost surreal. It’s a big thing. This community needed this,” McCarthy said.


Clinton 5, Hanahan 4: Class 3A State Championship Photo Gallery

Photos by John Clayton

1 Comment

  1. Vickie Cheek on May 24, 2023 at 9:23 pm

    This is a great article. So proud of the team and coaches. I loved the phenomenal support that surrounded the entire field. Carson and Jaydon Glenn are my great nephews!! Proud aunt!

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