CLINTON — Clinton and Northeast took a tie game to the seventh inning, 3-3, Saturday afternoon in high school baseball. But, with three home runs, the River Kings put the game out of reach on a six-run final inning, winning 9-3.
Cody Collender, Nathan Harden and Jordan Chapman each blasted two-run shots in the final frame to give Clinton the edge. Meanwhile, reliever Cole Pennock threw a shutout bottom half to take down Northeast.
“Collender really got us going in the seventh,” Clinton coach Kevin Cunningham said. “Once he squared on that ball it really got us going. We strung together several more hits, and we were able to put six runs on them to get it.”
The River Kings are 6-2 (0-2 Mississippi Athletic Conference) in a season that has thus far featured a fair share of weather postponements. Saturday’s game, in fact, was a makeup day with the Rebels after the season-opener was called for lightning on May 20. Through three innings, Northeast led 3-2 when the game was restarted Saturday.
That score remained until Clinton knotted it in a one-run sixth inning. Pennock, who relieved starter John Gunderson, threw three shutout innings with eight strikeouts, affording time for his team to swing for the fences.
“It’s really amazing to me what (Pennock) has done,” Cunningham said. “He’s consistent, and probably the best part of his game is he keeps the hitters off balance.”
Northeast took its second loss of the season and fell to 7-2 (4-0 Big East Conference). Coach Tyler Howe wasn’t worried after Saturday’s game.
“There were a ton of positives,” he said. Tevin Stoecker led the Rebels with a home run, two hits and an RBI. “The kids played hard. We got the lead right away. We just kind ran out of gas a little bit.”