The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

June 3, 2013

Hot bats: Clinton up big at Ft. Dodge

Herald Staff Report
The Clinton Herald

---- — CLINTON — How’s this for a three-game set: .636 average, seven hits, seven runs, three home runs, nine RBIs.

It seemed there was nothing Cody Collender couldn’t do in the Fort Dodge Tournament, Friday and Saturday. He hit, doubled, homered, stole, scored. Clinton’s standout second baseman drove in more runs in three games than the entire Dodger lineup had in two. That’s the 2012 Class 4A state runner up Fort Dodge Dodgers, who the River Kings swept on Friday, 16-7 and 11-1.

“They just didn’t have any answer for Cody,” Clinton coach Kevin Cunningham said. On Saturday, Clinton continued to roll, beating Ames, 9-4. “Fort Dodge, Ames, no one had any answers.

“I think we played outstanding over this weekend. The kids were on fire, we were playing on all cylinders,” Cunningham added.

Collender’s monster performance (seven hits on 11 at-bats) overshadowed other big time showings at the plate. In the opener, Jake Simpson hit a grand slam, adding to 14 total hits for the Kings (5-1) in the game.

Jake Faur and Austin Driscoll each had three-for-four games in the second Dodger matchup, both batting in an RBI, with Faur doubling and Driscoll scoring twice. The game ended in six innings courtesy Simpson’s stellar mound performance and the 10-run rule.

Against Ames, Rodney Witherspoon made his first start on the mound and threw 4 1/3 innings in the win. Collender notched his third homer of the tournament, while Dustin Caldwell ripped a three-run double to put the game out of reach.

Cunningham said it was a good way to bounce back following a 4-3 loss to Cedar Rapids Prairie earlier in the week. The River Kings tallied 38 hits and 34 runs through three games.

“I think our team has improved from last year,” he said. “What I’m seeing is a real commitment to Clinton baseball from our kids. They’re working hard in the weight room and on the field.

“Beating Fort Dodge the way we did, those are signature wins for our program.”

The River Kings turn their focus to Mississippi Athletic Conference play tonight with a two-game home set against Pleasant Valley. Cunningham took note of a recent poll that had Clinton finishing seventh out of 10 teams in the conference.

“I certainly expect us to compete at the top,” he said.

Friday, Game 1

CLINTON 16, FORT DODGE 7

Clinton 203 008 3 — 16 13 3

Fort Dodge 210 002 2 — 7 12 3

Cole Pennock (6 1/3 ip, 7 r, 4 er, 11 h, 3 so), Ryan Driscoll (2/3 ip, 1 h, 1 so) and Jake Faur; Tyler Vaughn (3 ip, 5 r, 4 er, 6 h, 1 bb, 3 so), JC Hatcher (2 2/3ip, 5 r, 4 er, 1 h, 5 bb, 2 so), Eric Puls (1/3 ip, 3 r, 3 er, 2 h, 1 bb), Sam Kolacia (1/3 ip, 3 r, 3 er, 3 h, 1 bb), Drew Hansen (2/3 ip, 1 bb, 1 so) and Devon Harms. Multiple hits -- Clinton (Alex Caldwell 2, Dustin Caldwell 2, Cody Collender 4, Ryan Driscoll 2, Jordan Chapman 2). 2B — Clinton (Collender 2, Cody Nolan), Fort Dodge (Austin Halligan, Devon Harms, Tyler Vaughn, Andrew Stover). HR — Clinton (Collender, Jake Simpson), Fort Dodge (Keegan Gormally). SB — Fort Dodge (JC Hatcher).

Game 2

CLINTON 11, FORT DODGE 1

Clinton 011 063 — 11 14 0

Fort Dodge 010 000 — 1 7 4

Jake Simpson (6 ip, 1 r, 1 er, 2 so) and Murray Henricks; Keegan Gormally (5 ip, 8 r, 7 er, 12 h, 2 bb, 2 so), Andrew Stover (1 ip, 3 r, 3 er, 2 h, 2 bb) and Devon Harms. Multiple hits -- Clinton (Cody Collender 2, Jordan Chapman 2, Jake Faur 3, Austin Driscoll 3, Murray Hendricks 2, Cody Nolan 2). 2B — Fort Dodge (Tommy Halligan, JC Hatcher), Clinton (Faur). HR — Clinton (Collender, Chapman). SB — Clinton (Collender).

Saturday

CLINTON 9, AMES 4

Clinton 004 50 — 9

Ames 111 01 — 4

Rodney Witherspoon (4 1/3 ip, 7 h, 4 r, 3 er, 2so), Murray Henricks (2/3 ip, 0 h, 1 bb, 1 so). Multiple hits — Clinton (Evan Jackson). 2B — Clinton (Dustin Caldwell). 3B — Clinton (Ryan Driscoll). HR — Clinton (Cody Collender). SB — Clinton (Alex Caldwell). RBI — Clinton (D. Caldwell 3, Collender 4, Driscoll).