ND defeats Clay, 6-1, in SOC I baseball battle

In any matchup that occurs in conference play, all one hopes to see is a well-played affair.

On Wednesday evening, there were several of those contests around the area, including the efforts that Notre Dame and Clay put together in an SOC I conference affair between the two, who, along with Green, are considered to be the favorites inside the conference’s lines.

Behind an excellent pitching effort, Notre Dame was able to take the hard-fought affair home.

Behind a complete-game, 12-strikeout effort from CJ Corns, along with three hits and two RBI from Tyler Speas, the Notre Dame Titans scored a 6-1 victory over the Clay Panthers in the long-awaited affair between the two ballclubs.

Corns, who also went 1-for-4 with an RBI double on the day, fanned all but one Clay batter and allowed just four hits in the 6-1 win while needing only 104 pitches to go the distance in the victory. The junior threw 64 pitches for strikes on the evening en route to a fantastic performance.

“It was a tough loss tonight,” Clay head coach Marc Cottle said. “However, anytime CJ Corns is on the mound, Notre Dame will be hard to beat. He is one of the best pitchers in our area.”

Speas, who notched his aforementioned two RBI in the contest, did so on a pair of base knocks that helped put Notre Dame back in front. Drew Cassidy also collected a pair of base knocks, and drove in an RBI while also scoring a run of his own to add to the excellent efforts.

In addition to Cassidy, Corns, and Speas, Sam Kayser, Chase Rodriguez, Truman Hash, Tyler Shaw, Grant Sparks, and Trevon Turner all recorded at least one base hit for the Titans, with Sparks adding a double and two runs scored and Rodriguez drawing a pair of walks on the day. Both players notched an RBI to close out their efforts. Hash and Shaw each scored a run to close out the Notre Dame offensive output.

While Clay took the loss, Brody Riffe and Reece Whitley did an impressive job in relief for the Panthers. Riffe pitched three innings of two-hit baseball, while Whitley allowed just one hit over the remaining inning and one-third of play. Dakota Dodds, who started the game, didn’t allow an earned run but was forced to exit after an inning and two-thirds of action due to the high pitch count (48 pitches) and the second-inning damage.

Clay notched four hits during the affair, with McGwire Garrison (who led the team with two), Whitley, and Bradley McCleese all notching hits. Garrison’s RBI base knock in the fourth inning scored Cole Gilliland and was the Panthers’ only run of the contest.

Contests at Coal Grove (Notre Dame) and Eastern (Clay) were rained out, so both units will have to wait until Friday to take the diamond. Clay will play host to Green, while Notre Dame will host Western in a pair of SOC I bouts.

PDT Sports – Kevin Colley

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