UPDATE: Clinton's 3-0 win Monday at home over Eastside means the Red Devils are in Friday's district championship against the winner of Daniel-AC Flora. That game was postponed Monday and will be played tonight (May 3). Davis Cunningham pitched a complete game win for the Red Devils, and drove in 2 runs with a 3rd inning double. Friday's game will be at The Sponge - $5 admission, only SC High School League passes are honored.
It could be a doubleheader. A Clinton win means the Red Devils move to the Upper State Championship series among the 4 division winners (double elimination). A Clinton loss means there will be a second game to determine the division champion. The Upper and Lower State Championship series begin May 9. The AAA State Championship (also double elimination) is May 19, May 21, and May 23, if necessary.
Tristan Smaltz got the win and Aaron Copeland nailed down the save Friday as Clinton baseball advances with a 2-0 playoff win over Daniel.
Clinton will play Eastside - 9-3 winner over AC Flora - in Round Two, Class AAA Upper State, on Monday. First pitch is 7:30 pm, admission is $5 and only SC High School League passes are honored. Clinton improves to 21-1 on the season.
Chandler Todd's RBI single in the 3rd and Copeland scoring on JP Duncan's squeeze bunt were all the runs Clinton got - all the runs Smaltz-Copeland needed as it turned out. Duncan's on his horse catch down the right field line - on a pop by Daniel pitcher Nick Taylor that looked like it was headed for the deep corner of the outfield - saved the game for Clinton.
Daniel loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the 7th. The Red Devils hadn't hit the ball since the 3rd inning - Todd's single drove in Tyler Kelly who had walked - and Taylor's smack if it had landed had the potential of clearing the bases. Copeland had relieved Smaltz, who gave up just 4 hits but two were to the final two batters he faced - he had retired Taylor successfully four times before in the game. Copeland struck out two Lions with the bases loaded, and enduced Taylor's hard-hit liner that Duncan caught.
In addition to Todd's two hits, Clinton got hits from Copeland, Smaltz, Charlie Craven and Dakota Webb. Todd from his catcher position also made a back to the diamond, pop foul catch for the third out in the 4th with two Daniel runners on base.
On the mound for Daniel, Taylor gave up 6 hits, 3 walks and got 5 Ks. Smaltz gave up 4 hits and 2 walks, hit 4 batters and struck out 9 on the mound for Clinton, the Region 3-AAA Champions.