Still unbeaten in region
UPDATE: Tonight's Clinton High baseball game is the final regular season game ever to be played at The Sponge. JV starts at 5 pm, varsity takes the diamond at 7:30 against Union County. The varsity Red Devils have a chance to close-out an undefeated region regular season with wins tonight and FRIDAY playing at South Pointe (Rock Hill).
Aaron Copeland closed the door on a two-on, no outs Chester last inning comeback tonight leading the Clinton Red Devils to their 16th win of the season. Clinton is 8-0 in region play with two region games left on the schedule.
Copeland got the save pitching out of a Chester man on 3rd and man on 2nd rally in the top of the 7th. Tristan Smaltz got the win, surrendering the ball, and taking his place in the outfield, to Copeland after giving up a lead-off double in the final frame. Chester got its second runner on base with an infield hit/fielder's choice, that runner stole 2nd uncontested.
Copeland mowed down the next three batters - strikeout, fly-out and a fly ball out to center. Smaltz was basically untouchable most of the game. He pitched out of a bases loads with two outs jam in the top of the 5th. In the 1st inning, Smaltz recorded his 50th strikeout of the season.
Clinton had the chance to get insurance in the bottom of the 5th as Chandler Todd hit a one-out double. But the Red Devils couldn't bring home a run, setting the stage for Chester getting two runners on base in their final at-bat.
It's Senior Night for 9 Red Devils tomorrow for a 6 pm first pitch against Abbeville (non-region). Pre-game Senior Night activities are set for 5:30 pm. The players, coaches and families wll have a cookout under the home stands of Wilder Stadium after the Thursday night game (tonight's varsity baseball game was set for Tuesday night, but a rain, hail and lightning storm just before first pitch postponed the action to a rare Wednesday night contest). Clinton JV and C-Team baseball also will be introduced at the cook-out.
After Thursday's home game, the Red Devils will be at Union County Tuesday for a region game, home against Ninety Six (non-region) on April 21 and away to South Pointe (region) for the regular season finale. Wins against Union and South Pointe would give the Red Devils a perfect slate in region games this season - Clinton also won the Laurens County Championship with 2-1 and 10-6 wins over Laurens this season - and a lock on a No. 1 seed in Upstate Class AAA State Playoffs in May.