4th ranked Pioneers win twice over Beaverton

by Ben Murphy
Sports Writer

A walk off home run in the opener. A well-pitched game in the night-cap. The Clare baseball team got a pair of key Jack Pine Conference wins over visiting Beaverton Tuesday, 8-5 and 4-3.

“They were big wins,” head coach Skeet Colosky said. “It puts us at 11-1 in the conference, so we at least have a shore of the league now and if we can get a win against Roscommon (Thursday) we can win it outright.”

Clare’s Travis Vida slides into home for a run during Tuesday’s key JPC wins over Beaverton. Photo by Shannon Zinser

Clare’s Travis Vida slides into home for a run during Tuesday’s key JPC wins over Beaverton.
Photo by Shannon Zinser

The fourth ranked Pioneers and 12th ranked Beavers battled it to a 5-5 tie into the bottom of the seventh inning in the opener. With two runners on base, Jeff Allen smacked a home run over the left-field fence to give Clare a walk-off victory.

The Beavers actually took a 2-0 lead in the game, but a key two-run double by Tyler Smith tied things up at 2-2 after one.

The Beavers pulled ahead 3-2 into the bottom of the third, but Clare answered with three runs to surge ahead 5-3.

Beaverton hit a home-run in the top of the fifth to tie it up at 5-5, where it remained until Allen’s heroics.

Allen was also credited with the win in the opener, as he pitched in relief of Travis Vida who reached his pitch count.

“Vida pitched really well in the first game, he kept us in the game,” Colosky said. “He fought through some jams, got through them and gave us a chance to win that game. At the end of the day, it was really a couple of big team wins. We played together as a team and we got things done as a team which is awesome.”

The Pioneers staked themselves to a 4-0 lead in the opener as Allen pitched the first four innings. Clare had to hang on for the one run win, giving Allen, who had two hits in the nightcap, his second victory of the day.

Tucker Roe pitched the final three innings to get the save, as he gave up no runs on two hits and struck out two.

Roe also had a triple on offense, Smith had a single and an RBI and Cole Keene, Tyler Rodenbo and Gabe Denton also had one hit apiece.

“Those two games were fun,” Colosky said. “A walk-off in the first game and a hard fought win in the second. Jeff had a really big day, recording a win in the first game in relief and a walk-off homer for himself and then he got the win in game two as well. A big day for him.”

Clare is now 21-4 overall and 11-1 in the JPC.

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