CLINTON - Here comes the River Kings.
After stumbling out of the gates in the first half of the season, the Clinton High School baseball team is roaring down the final stretch, as a 10-6 win over Davenport West etched the River Kings' second quality victory in as many chances.
Only two days after dealing Davenport Assumption its first conference loss of the season, Clinton rallied from behind to beat the Falcons on Senior Night in a first-round substate preview, as the two Mississippi Athletic Conference teams will open the postseason next Friday.
After surrendering three runs in the opening inning, the River Kings scored in each of their next five plate appearances, including a decisive five-run fourth inning. With two outs and Joe Simpson on first, Max Holy and Dante Brunson hit back-to-back singles and Riley Hill connected for a run-scoring double.
Matt Swamberger then brought in two more runs with a key two-out hit of his own to extend Clinton's lead to 9-3.
The River Kings scored one run in the first, two in the second and two in third while pitcher Jess Hartsock tossed four consecutive scoreless innings after a shaky first.
Aiden Lubs celebrated Senior Night in a grand way, as the Clinton senior pitcher, who was diagnosed with a season-ending rotator cuff injury in early June, tossed the first pitch of the game and got Lucas Gluba (who ranks second in the MAC in hitting) to fly out.
The Falcons rallied for three runs in the seventh but the River Kings turned their third double play of the night to end the game
Clinton erupted for 16 hits. Holy led the way with three, and the group of Hill, Swamberger, Frederick Williams, Malachi Mojeiko and Tanner Dickherber each had two.
Clinton (9-18) will wrap up conference play against Davenport North Thursday and take on a pair of non-conference foes before entering substate against the Falcons next Friday in Davenport.