It took 36 days, but this time Creston finished out a rout of Clarinda in Hawkeye 10 baseball action.
That was not the case June 23 in Clarinda, when the Panthers saw a 7-2 lead with two outs in the bottom of the seventh evaporate in an 8-7 Cardinal victory on a walk-off hit by Brook Stephens, son of former CHS art teacher Jacque Stephens.
The June 3 game in Creston was suspended in the bottom of the second because of inclement weather, with the score tied 1-1.
When action resumed Wednesday in an early 5:30 p.m. start, senior Nate Haley was back on the mound to finish what he started so many weeks earlier. His one-hitter included no hits allowed in Wednesday’s portion, as the Panthers sailed 11-1 in five innings thanks to an eight-run outburst in the fourth inning.
With Stephens on the mound for Clarinda, the Panthers sent 13 batters to the plate in their eight-run rally, which included five hits. The rally included a deep RBI double to right field by Kadon Hulett and two-run hits by Brandon Phipps and Chase Shiltz.
Shiltz ended up scoring on his triple, as the throw to third bounced into the Panther dugout. Catcher Jacob Degase and Stephens switched positions with two outs, and Degase finally ended it on a popup.
Haley, meanwhile, issued one of his two walks in the top of the fifth, but left that runner stranded on a popup to Hulett at first base.
Haley let his defense get the outs, finishing with two strikeouts, two walks and one hit batter. J.J. Clark had Clarinda’s only hit in the game to score Stephens for his team’s only run during the June 3 portion of the contest.
“Nate came out and did what he did against Martensdale last week,” Creston coach Steve Birchard said. “He threw a lot of strikes. He threw 36 pitches tonight in three innings. Any day you average 12 an inning, that’s pretty good.”
Clarinda, 10th in the Hawkeye 10 Conference at 4-16, fell to 7-18 overall. Creston (11-12 overall) is now 10-9 in the league in seventh place, and can make a run at finishing sixth with a sweep today of Lewis Central at Panther Field.
That’s not what Birchard and his seven seniors envisioned for the 2014 campaign. But it was a hard-luck season, with seven one-run defeats in conference play, plus a 3-1 loss to Glenwood.
“We’re just a couple of hits here or there from being in the top three or four of the conference,” Birchard said.
Lewis Central comes in today holding one of those positions, sitting at 13-4 in third place in the league, a half-game behind St. Albert, and 22-7 overall. Harlan is the league champion at 17-3, and 19-6 overall.
“Lewis Central ran off about 12 or 13 in a row until TJ got them recently,” Birchard said. “We need to come out and get that first game, and then not be satisfied with a split. We need to be greedy and try to get two.”
The regular season concludes Monday and Tuesday against ADM and Chariton.
Jaden Driskell pitched a one-hitter as the Creston JV defeated Clarinda Wednesday, 3-2.
Driskell fanned four and issued five walks in allowing just one earned run. He also hit a double and drove in a run. Dustin Merritt reached base three times on a single, walk and hit by pitch.
“Jaden only really got in any trouble in the second inning, when they had their only hit and three walks,” Creston coach Ben Landers said. “Otherwise he was steady and we played well. We struck out seven times, but the second time through the lineup we started hitting a little better.”
The Panther JV (10-6) is off tonight, but plays two games Friday morning against the Chariton freshman team in Chariton.
Creston 11, Clarinda 1
R H E
Clarinda 010 00 — 1 1 2
Creston 111 8x — 11 9 0
Cl: Brook Stephens 2K 7BB, Jacob Degase (4) 0K 1BB and Degase, Stephens (4). Cr: Nate Haley 2K 2BB 1 HBP and Chase Shiltz. W — Haley. L— Stephens. 3B — Cr: Shiltz. 2B — Cr: Kadon Hulett. RBI — Cl: J.J. Clark 1; Cr: Hulett 2, Shiltz 2, Brandon Phipps 2, Haley 2, Trey Benson 1. Multiple hitters — Cr: Shiltz 2, Hulett 2.