BETTENDORF — Cody Collender doesn’t head to the plate thinking home run. But, he certainly doesn’t mind enjoying them.
Collender hit a pair of homers in the second game Monday, including a go-ahead three-run shot in a six-run third inning, as Clinton salvaged a split with Bettendorf in Mississippi Athletic Conference baseball. Bettendorf used three home runs and came back twice to win the first game 10-8 before the River Kings took Game 2 10-5.
“It’s not the first time I’ve done that,” Collender, who has hit six home runs this season, said of sparking the team with the long ball. “I like doing it. It’s a pleasure to do that to get the team going.”
Trailing 2-0 after Bettendorf got an RBI double from Trey Muilenburg and a run-scoring single from Austin Broyles in the bottom of the second, Clinton wasted no time getting those runs back -- and more.
Evan Jackson led off the top of the third with the first of his three walks in the game and advanced to third when Dustin Caldwell ripped a single past second baseman Brett Malsam. Jackson scored on the first of two consecutive groundouts, then Jake Faur kept the inning going with a single to left. Collender followed with his three-run homer.
“Cody is a kid who generates so much bat speed that when he squares up he’s going to hit the ball well,” Clinton coach Kevin Cunningham said.
Collender’s home run gave Clinton a 4-2 lead, then Jordan Chapman followed after Ryan Driscoll was hit by a pitch and deposited another one over the left-field fence to make it 6-2.
“It felt pretty good, but it was my only hit tonight so I can’t feel too good about it,” Chapman said.
“I didn’t think Jordan got good hacks in the first game, so I challenged him in the second game to square it up and hit it, and he did,” Cunningham said.