CLINTON — Splitting doubleheaders has become commonplace for the Clinton High baseball team this spring. The River Kings did it again Thursday, bouncing back from an 11-3 loss in Game 1 to beat Bettendorf 10-0 in the second game.
“We were not even close to being ready the first game,” Clinton senior third baseman Dustin Caldwell said. “You could probably tell by the way we played. That three runs in the first inning (and) we just couldn’t climb back in. But after we refocused, we were like, ‘We split with everyone else, let’s just go with a split and head home for the night.’ “
They also headed home with a 3-3 record in the Mississippi Athletic Conference, all doubleheader splits.
After playing a game in which almost nothing went right for them, the River Kings could do no wrong in the second game.
It started with defense — three stellar plays in the first two innings — and pitching.
Evan Jackson made the first “Web Gem.” The junior center fielder raced into left-left-center field, laid out and robbed Bryan Sproston of a hit with a diving catch for the second out of the first inning.
“I think it just builds the momentum, big plays like that in the outfield,” Jackson said. “It gets us going. It really helped us. It gave us a boost.”
Freshman second baseman Johnny Sullivan denied the Bulldogs back-to-back hits with two plays up the middle an inning later. First he knocked down Sam Ambrose’s line drive with a dive near the bag and tossed to shortstop Colin Nelson for a forceout at second.
VIDEO: River Kings get six runs on one hit against Bettendorf, Thursday.
“I saw the ball come right off the bat and going straight up the middle and I figured I’d dive for it,” Sullivan said.