It wasn’t that Clinton High School’s baseball team necessarily lost confidence with last week’s doubleheader loss that started conference play.
Realizing Davenport Central was a good team, the River Kings simply were disappointed with the way they played. That changed Monday night.
Clinton bounced back with a sweep of Davenport North, playing solid baseball in 10-2 and 4-1 victories over the Wildcats in a Mississippi Athletic Conference doubleheader at Eagle Heights Elementary School.
“We knew Central was a good team, but we didn’t play as well as we thought we could have,” junior catcher Brendon Roggendorf said. “We learned from it, and now we’re going to bounce back and start getting some wins.”
Expected to compete with Central, among others, for a conference title this season, the River Kings made a number of mistakes that cost them Thursday in two losses to the Blue Devils.
In the doubleheader, Clinton committed seven errors — six in the second game — saw its pitchers walk 14 hitters and had its batters strike out 23 times.
Those numbers were much improved Monday against the Wildcats. The River Kings (5-2, 2-2) committed four errors — only one that led to a run — struck out just eight times at the plate and had just four walks from their two pitchers.
Jared Voss threw a complete game in the opener, allowing eight hits and one earned run. He struck out two, hit a batter and walked four. He was helped by five double players turned by his defense.
Jake Mangler, who walked seven in a 6-5, eight-inning loss to Central on Thursday, was strong in Monday’s second game. The senior right-hander gave up one run on five hits. He struck out four and did not walk a batter.
“We had good pitching tonight and did a good job defensively,” Clinton coach Trent Snowden said. “We came to life a little bit with the bats, which was good to see.”
The River Kings fell behind 1-0 in the first game before the offense exploded in the middle innings. Roggendorf connected for a grand slam in the third inning, the first home run by a Clinton player at the new field. It was his second homer of the season.
Adam Young, who was 3-for-4 in the opener and had four hits in the two games, added an RBI double in the fifth for a 5-0 lead.
Mangler tripled in a run in the fourth and scored on Roggendorf single to left, his fifth RBI of the game. Mangler added an RBI single in the fifth and finished 2-for-2 with a pair of RBIs.
Voss doubled twice and had three hits for Clinton, which had 11 in the opener and six in the second game. Seven of those hits went for extra bases after having only one extra-base hit against Central.
“I was just trying to hit the ball up the middle, but they gave me a pitch to hit,” Roggendorf said of his grand slam, which came on a 2-1 fastball. “I wanted to do something with it, and sure enough, it went over the fence. It felt good.”
Clinton struggled a bit more with the bats in the second game, getting only six hits off North freshman Trey Ogden.
Three of the four runs off Ogden were unearned, the result of six errors by the Wildcats (2-5, 0-4). Ogden walked two and struck out five.
The River Kings scored once in the second, with Justin Clark scoring on an error by catcher Joey Wallace as Matt Morrow stole second base. Clark had singled with one out and moved to second on an error on the play.
Clinton got two runs in the third to regain the lead — North had tied it in the top of the third. Voss reached on an error to start the inning and Mangler followed with a double. The throw by North right fielder Chance Roehm skipped past the infield, allowing Voss to score. Mangler then scored when Austin Krick reached on another error.
Tyler Morehead drove in the Kings’ final run in the fourth, scoring Young who had reached on an infield single and advanced to second on an error.
“These were big wins because we dropped two against Central,” Voss said. “We probably should have won the first game there, but this boosts our confidence.”
Clinton is scheduled to play at Camanche tonight and home against Linn-Mar on Wednesday night — both sophomore-varsity doubleheaders. The Kings return to MAC play Thursday at Pleasant Valley.
“We know it’s going to be tough the rest of the week,” Snowden said. “We have plenty of pitching, so as long as we keep playing good defense and keep hitting the ball, we should be fine.”
CLINTON 10, DAVENPORT NORTH 2
North 010 100 0 — 2 8 1
Clinton 005 320 x — 10 11 2
Kyle Williams, Joey Wallace (4) and Wallace, Scott Dressler (4). Jared Voss and Brendon Roggendorf. WP — Roggendorf. LP — Williams. Multiple hits — North (Adam Rohlf 3-3, Cooper Roehm 2-3), Clinton (Voss 3-3, Adam Young 3-4, Jake Mangler 2-3, Roggendorf 2-3). 2B — North (Rohlf), Clinton (Voss 2, Young 2). 3B — Clinton (Mangler). HR — Clinton (Roggendorf). RBIs — North (Rohlf, Spencer Jones), Clinton (Roggendorf 5, Mangler 2, Young).
CLINTON 4, DAVENPORT NORTH 1
North 001 000 0 — 1 5 6
Clinton 012 100 x — 4 6 2
Trey Ogden and Wallace. Mangler and Roggendorf. WP — Mangler. LP — Ogden. Multiple hits — North (Collin Belk 2-3). 2B — North (Rohlf, Belk), Clinton (Mangler). RBIs — North (Williams), Clinton (Tyler Morehead).