For a moment, it looked as if Dubuque Senior was going to make a game of it after spotting Clinton five runs Friday evening. River Kings pitcher Jake Simpson took a shutout into the fourth innings, where, three walks and a hit later, the Rams were on the board, with the bases loaded and only one out.
It was time for Clinton coach Kevin Cunningham to turn to his catcher — Jake Faur — who had already made several saves and foul-ball catches in the game.
"(Faur) started out as my utility player, and started to take on a bigger role at catching. But he hasn't had as much work pitching," Cunningham said. "Still, I told him, he's the guy I'm going to out of the pen."
Thanks to Faur, the Rams didn't score another run. He coaxed a double-play ball to shortstop Cody Nolan, who turned a 6-4-3 inning-ender with Cody Collender and Jordan Chapman. Faur, through 3 2/3 innings, allowed only two hits and one walk on six strikeouts.
Meanwhile, offensively, the Kings continued pouring it on, with the game ending in seven innings, Clinton on top 9-1.
"We hit from top to bottom," Cunningham said. "I think my first couple times through the lineup, 18 hitters made contact. When you have 19 at-bats in a row making contact, things are going to happen. We're putting the ball in play."
Collender, Dustin Caldwell, Ryan Driscoll and Jordan Chapman each went 2-for-4 on the night, with Chapman leading all with three RBIs. As a team, Clinton tallied 11 hits on the day.
To Cunningham, it was a good show after Clinton eeked out a close 3-2 opener against Dubuque Hempstead earlier in the week. He said the team won that game with hardly any hitting.
"It was nice to come out today and hit and really play all aspects of the game," he said. "Pick up a nice win over a 4A school."
Clinton will host its own tournament today starting at 10 a.m. Northeast, Camanche and Preston also play in the event at the Eagle Heights Elementary School.
DUBUQUE SENIOR 1, CLINTON 9
Senior 000 100 0 — 1
Clinton 104 130 0 — 9
Jake Simpson (3 1/3 ip, 3 h, 1 r, 1 er, 3 bb) and Jake Faur (3 2/3 ip, 2 h, 1 bb, 6 so). Multiple hits — Clinton (Dustin Caldwell 2, Cody Collender 2, Ryan Driscoll 2, Jordan Chapman 2). 2B — Clinton (Caldwell, Chapman). 3B — Clinton (Driscoll). RBI — Clinton (Caldwell, Driscoll, Chapman, Murray Henricks). SB — Clinton (Collender).