The Clarke baseball team carried the momentum from its undefeated season into its first round match-up with Island Trees, and that resulted in a 6-0 Rams’ win.
Chris Appell was stellar on the mount for Clarke, as he struck out three and walked four in a complete game shutout. He helped himself at the plate as well, as he hit a sharp grounder in the third inning that lead to the Rams’ first two runs.
“I felt good,” Appell said. “My pitches were working, and I kept throwing strikes and hitting my spots, which is important.”
After Appell’s two-run hit, Jayson Garcia scored on a wild pitch to give Clarke a 3-0 lead. The Rams increased their cushion in the fifth when Joe Fusco and Joe Carmine drove in runners with RBI hits. After Jesse Russo pinch ran for Carmine, he stole third, and the catcher’s throw sailed into right field, and Russo scored on the error.
Island Trees never got a runner into scoring position. On two separate occasions, runners reached first, but Appell was able to surprise them with a strong pickoff move to end any potential threat.
“Believe it or not, he didn’t have his best stuff today,” Clarke Coach Tom Abruscato said of Appell. “He was able to make the pitches that he needed to, and we were able to get the win.”
Abruscato also added that his team needed to have better at-bats, such as the one Joe Carmine had against Island Trees’ ace Mike Jeannetti.
“We just had to keep on battling,” Carmine said. “He was throwing well too, but we made him work hard.”
Clarke will get a well-deserved rest until Wednesday while their opponent for their next series is determined.
“We will stay fresh,” Appell said. “We are pumped to continue our playoff push.”
What do you think is Clarke’s playoff potential? Tell us in the comments.Teams1234567RHEIsland Trees0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1Clarke0 0 3 0 3 0 X 6 4 0
WP: Chris Appell; LP: Mike Jeannetti; RBI: Chris Appell (2), Joe Fusco (1), Joe Carmine (1)