Clarion Downs Cranberry In Junior League All-Star Opener (07/05/16)

(By Clarion Manager Garrett Goheen)

Five batters into the game and Clarion had all the runs that it would need to win its opening round Junior League game against Cranberry. Clarion won 21-2 in a five inning mercy rule decision.

Clarion was the visiting team. Curvin Goheen and Skylar Rhoades each drew 4 pitch walks before Calvin German reached on an error to load the bases. Ben Smith walked scoring Goheen for Clarion’s first run. Josh Craig plated Rhoades and German with a single to left making the score 3-0. Mitch Geiger then collected an RBI single followed by an RBI fielder’s choice by Cole Slaugenhop. Nate Datko then collected his first of his three hits on the day. Dan Ketner drew a walk before Goheen was hit by a pitch to force in another run. Rhoades then tripled to left scoring Datko, Ketner and Goheen making the score 8-0 after a half inning.

Goheen started on the mound for Clarion. He retired the Cranberry side in order collecting 2 strikeouts to complete the first frame.

Clarion added 4 more runs in the second inning. Skylar Pastor collected an RBI with a sacrifice fly that scored Smith before Datko drove in Slaugenhop and Craig with a single. Datko scored one pitch later on a Ketner RBI fielder’s choice that put Clarion up 12-0 heading into the bottom of the second.

Cranberry threatened in their half of the inning. A.J. Howard reached on an error. JT Stahlman then ripped a ball to the fence in right center. It appeared as if Howard would score, but Clarion executed a flawless relay throw from Rhoades to Goheen to Slaugenhop to nail Stahlman at the plate. Goheen then induced a groundout to end the threat.

Clarion increased its lead to 15-0 in the top of the third. Smith and Craig each collected RBI singles and Pastor another RBI fielder’s choice in the frame. German worked a scoreless bottom of the third surrendering just 1 hit while collecting a strikeout.

Cranberry had a good start to the top of the forth as Goheen and Rhoades each popped out to start the inning. However, with 2 outs German, Smith, Craig and Geiger collected 4 straight singles. Craig’s scored German and Geiger’s scored Smith before the inning ended.

Cranberry was able to crack the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth. Geiger came on to pitch and fanned the first batter in 3 pitches. He then walked Howard and Austin Collins back to back. Stahlman drove in Howard with an RBI single and Collins scored on Dan Fisher’s RBI groundout before Geiger collected his second strikeout to end the inning. After 4 full innings Clarion was up 17-2.

Clarion added 4 more runs in the top of the fifth. Ketner, Goheen, Rhoades, and German all scored in the frame before the Cranberry reliever collected a strikeout to end the inning.

Skylar Rhoades took the mound in the bottom of the 5th. He struck out the first batter before Jacob Umstead reached on an error. Rhoades then stuck out the next 2 batters to end the game at 21-2.

For Clarion, Rhoades, Smith, Craig and Datko each had 3 hits. Goheen, Rhoades, German, and Smith each scored 4 runs. Every player in the lineup had either an RBI or scored a run.

This was a team win.We pitched 4 different guys in just 5 innings. We have 3 newcomers to Clarion All-Stars this year. Dan Ketner, Mitch Geiger, and Skylar Pastor were all playing in their first All Star Games. I thought they each played real well. Cranberry fought hard all the way to the end, and they should have a good chance to get a win in their next game. Their field was in great shape and they really gave the game a “Big league feel” with their at bat music.

We know that the road to a District 25 championship will go through Franklin. We will have to show up Friday night ready to play ball.

(Thanks to Coach Goheen for this article. Great Job, All-Stars!!!!)