ROSSVILLE – Clinton Prairie’s Kale Morris scattered four hits over seven innings Wednesday evening as the Gophers defeated the Rossville Hornets on the road 6-2 in a Hoosier Heartland Conference game.
Coupled with Clinton Prairie’s 6-1 home win over Rossville on Tuesday, the Gophers improved to 6-5 on the season and 4-2 in league play. The Hornets fell to 5-9 and 2-3 in HHC competition.
“I thought we played really well,” Scott said. “A lot of high school teams don’t like to play defense, but we do. That’s one of the fun things about this team. I’ve got 13 to 14 kids on this team that love to play defense and that’s awesome.”
Arguably the play of the game came in the bottom of the fifth inning with the Gophers leading 5-2. Cory Disinger and Tyler Holford both walked with one out against Morris, bringing the game-tying run to the plate. The Hornet’s No. 2 batter in the lineup Matt Homco drilled a hard-hit ball down the middle of the diamond.
The ball, though, was caught by a diving Kristian Peters at shortstop, who quickly jumped up and then tagged second to force out Disinger to complete the double play to end the inning. It turned out to be the Hornets’ last serious threat of the game.
“Kudos to Prairie because they made every play and hit the ball when they needed to hit the ball and their pitchers threw well again,” said Rossville coach Mike Gick. “They hit some seeing-eye singles and we hit some good shots right at people, but that’s baseball. It was a nice game played all the way around, but they just played a little bit better than we did today.”
Sam Schoonveld and Jared Stillwell hit first inning doubles, the later scoring Schoonveld to give the Gophers a 1-0 lead, but Clinton Prairie ended the inning with the bases loaded. Rossville, though, tied the game with one swing of the bat, when Brayton Cooper crushed a pitch over the left field fence in the Hornets half of the first inning.
Chase Joseph hit an RBI double and Kameron Peters added a run-scoring single in the third inning to give the Gophers the 3-1 lead. The Hornets, though, trimmed the lead to one on Holford’s double and Homco’s run-scoring double.
Morris, though, was able to blank Rossville the rest of the way, giving up one single over the final four innings.
“My curve ball was working for me today and I was able to get it over consistently,” he said. “Once we got the lead, I was able to just throw the ball in the zone and hope the defense would pick me up.”
Stillwell and Kristian Peters had run-scoring hits in the fourth and fifth innings respectively and Grant Ream blasted a solo home run off Christian Howard in the sixth inning to cap the Gophers’ scoring.
Clinton Prairie, though, did leave 12 runners on base, including leaving the bases loaded twice in the game.