Jake Mangler didn’t need much time to erase the memory of a horrible at-bat in the third inning. Two innings later, he hammered the first pitch he saw over the left-field fence.
Between his hitting — Mangler was 2-for-4 with three runs batted in — and his pitching, Mangler led Clinton past Pleasant Valley 6-1 on Thursday to complete a Mississippi Athletic Conference doubleheader sweep that started two weeks earlier. The River Kings won the first game 8-2 in a game that was called in the fifth inning on that rainy Thursday.
“It was a beautiful day, and both teams played pretty well,” Clinton coach Trent Snowden said as he and his players enjoyed what has been rare this spring — a sunny day with temperatures in the low 80s.
Mangler limited Pleasant Valley to one unearned run on five hits, raising his record to 3-2 and lowering his earned-run average from 3.45 to 2.63. Meanwhile, his home run turned a 1-0 advantage — Austin Krick scored in the second on Adam Young’s sacrifice fly — into a 3-0 lead.
The homer came in his next at-bat after a woeful experience with two runners on base and no outs in the third inning.
Tyler Morehead opened the inning with a walk, and Jared Voss (2-for-4) followed with a single up the middle. Snowden then called on Mangler, who entered the game batting .528 (second to Voss’s .549 on the team), to move up the runners with a bunt. Mangler fouled off his first two attempts. Then, with the bunt sign off, he took a half swing at the third pitch from Dillan Dwyer, a pitch in the dirt. Morehead took off for third, but catcher Blake Wilson kept the pitch in front of him and threw out Morehead at third base. Then the umpires ruled that Mangler offered at the pitch. Suddenly, a promising inning had turned as dismal as the recent weather.
“He’s been asked to do that once or twice in the last week and executed,” Snowden said of the call for a bunt. “He was too anxious to put it where he wanted to and try to beat it out. That was ugly.”
Helped by some nice defensive plays — a backhand pick by first baseman Austin Krick, a charging catch on one knee by right fielder Young and diving catch by center fielder Morehead on a fly ball in left-center — Mangler retired six of the seven batters he faced over the next two innings to keep the 1-0 lead intact.
Voss singled with two outs in the fifth, then Mangler deposited the next pitch from Dwyer well behind the left-field fence for his fifth home run of the season.
The Spartans pulled within 3-1 in the bottom of the fifth as David Conway made it to second base on an error, moved to third on a groundout and scored on a suicide squeeze bunt by Brett Ahlgren.
Clinton (9-7, 5-4 MAC) put the game away by batting around and scoring three more runs in the seventh inning.
The win came less than 24 hours after a disappointing loss at Cedar Rapids Xavier. The Saints scored 11 runs in the fourth inning to erase a 6-0 Clinton lead and then added three more in the fifth for a 14-11 victory.
Matt Goiffon hit a three-run double and Mac Mattke hit two two-run doubles in the fourth.
CLINTON 6, PLEASANT VALLEY 1
Clinton 010 020 3 — 6 9 3
Pleasant Valley 000 010 0 — 1 5 0
Jake Mangler (7 ip, 5 h, 1 r, 0 er, 0 bb, 5 so) and Brendon Roggendorf; Dillan Dwyer (6 1/3 ip, 8 h, 5 r, 5 34, 2 bb, 4 so), Michael Foley (2/3 ip, 1 h, 1 r, 1 er, 2 bb, 1 so) and Blake Wilson. Multiple hits — Clinton (Jared Voss 2, Justin Clark 2, Mangler 2). 2B — Pleasant Valley (Casey Addelia). HR — Clinton (Mangler). RBIs — Clinton (Adam Young, Mangler 3, Roggendorf, Matt Morrow); Pleasant Valley (Brett Ahlgren).
CEDAR RAPIDS XAVIER 14, CLINTON 11
Clinton 101 402 3 — 11 14 3
Xavier 000 (11)30 x — 14 17 4
Morehead, Clark (4) and Roggendorf; Alex Ries and Colby Brecht. 2B — Clinton (Voss, Mangler); Xavier (Jon Keller, Matt Goiffon, Mac Mattke 2). 3B — Clinton (Morehead, Voss). HR — Clinton (Mangler). RBIs — Clinton (Morehead 2, Voss 3, Mangler 4, Krick, Roggendorf); Xavier (Goiffon 4, Nate Even 2, Mattke 4, Brecht).
PV sophomores top CHS
RIVERDALE — Pleasant Valley rallied for four runs in the top of the seventh inning to beat the Clinton sophomores 6-5 on Thursday in a game that was rained out earlier this season in Clinton.
Dakota Atkinson and Matt Judge had an RBI each, and they, along with Matt Stumbaugh and Travis Morehead finished 1-for-2.