Strasburg’s Clinedinst sterling in win against Central
By Jim Laise
STRASBURG — Strasburg High School’s baseball team shook off whatever effects losing two key players at this point of the season have had Wednesday to drop cross-county rival Central High 7-2 at First Bank Park.
Neither seniors Josh Pritchett nor Ryan Bowers were officially with the team in the Bull Run District/Conference 35 regular season clash.
Earlier in the season, the Rams, 11-7 overall, 6-2 conference and 8-5 district, took the same measure of the Falcons by the same score.
“Neither (seniors Josh Pritchett and Ryan Bowers) are with the team any longer,” Strasburg head coach Joe Bauserman said of the “coaches’ decision.”
Pritchett’s four home runs led the area to go with a 1.45 earned run average pitching; Bowers five-hit Central on April 21. He went 6 1/3 innings in that one.
“I think it had an effect,” said Bauserman. “The team rallied around each other and we go from here.”
Yet another senior, Cory Clinedinst, seemed to put the team on his back to carry off the win.
Strasburg has one Bull Run District game left with Rappahannock on Thursday, while Central has concluded its season.
Falcons head man Sean Semones said his squad will begin Conference 35 action as the fourth seed vs. Clarke County on Monday in Woodstock, 7:30 p.m.
“We pitched them a little high, but they made good turns on their at-bats and they were clean in the field. It was a good solid win and they deserved this one,” said Semones.
Clinedinst, who was introduced with fellow senior Dylan Campbell prior to the first pitch, was being honored on this night with his family. The senior pitcher plans to join the U.S. Marines upon graduation.
“No doubt he was strong for us tonight. He took control of things on the mound and remained focused,” said Bauserman of Clinedinst.
“You have to be, against Central, it’s a conference rivalry,” said Clinedinst.
The four-year Strasburg veteran went the complete seven inning game, allowing four hits and two runs. He struck out eight, hit one batter by pitch and walked a Falcon.
“I thought my slider was really working for me tonight,” said the righthander. I was using that to throw strikes and then come later with my fastball.”
On top of that Clinedinst, batting leadoff, doubled off starter and loser Sam Shifflett and scored what would be the game’s first run in the bottom of the first. Teammate Justin King also doubled after Clinedinst to score the pitcher. King would also come in for a 2-0 lead before the Falcons had even come to bat.
Strasburg scored two runs in the first, three in the third and two more in the fifth.
The only time the Falcons got to Clinedinst was in the top of the third. With two outs, Clinedinst allowed a walk to Johnathan Baker and then watched as Central catcher Mason Marston hit a two-run homer over the left field fence to trail 5-2 in the fifth.
Not only did Strasburg answer with two runs of its own in the bottom of the same inning, but Clinedinst struck out the side in the top of the seventh to preserve the win.
Ahead 2-0, the Rams added to their lead with a three-spot in the bottom of the third. They picked up three hits in the frame and the Falcons committed an error.
After the Marston blast made it 5-2, Strasburg came back in the bottom of the fifth to score two more on three hits.
The Falcons committed five errors in the game while the Rams did not make one stumble in the field.
“It helps to pitch when your defense plays the way we did,” said Bauserman.
The coach said it was the first errorless game for Strasburg this season.
Clinedinst had the double and scored two runs, King was two-for-two with a double and three runs scored, Dylan Campbell was two-for-three with a double and two RBI and Austin Miller went one-for-three with two RBI and two stolen bases.
Contact Jim Laise at email@example.com
Rams 7, Falcons 2
Score by innings
Central 000 002 0-2 3 5
Strasburg 203 020 X-7 7 0
Central-S. Shifflett, Baker (5) and Marston
Strasburg-Clinedinst and Keller