Clarkston Knocks off High Powered Lake Orion

By Mike Penn
Michigan Director of Scouting

Coming into Thursday's matchup against Clarkston, Lake Orion was looking to make it yet another clean sweep of their rivals.  But as it turned out the scrappy Clarkston team had other plans.

Clarkston had lost two games to Lake Orion just the day before while running into arguably the two best pitchers in the state: Nick Deeg (2013) and Brad Schaenzer (2014).  Thursday was not going to be any easier against junior right-hander Josh Bays.

Bays whose fastball reaches into the upper 80's was cruising through five and carried a 2-0 lead when things got interesting.  With two on Clarkston's Ryan Slaughter delivered a big hit, a two-run single to knot the score at two.

From there the game see-sawed back and forth. It appeared that Lake Orion would resume the lead in the bottom half of the fifth when they had bases loaded and no outs.  But the big hit would not come as Clarkston wriggled off the hook leaving all base runners in place.

Carrying that momentum into the sixth inning, Clarkston put up a run making the score 3-2.  But their lead was short lived as Lake Orion answered in the bottom of the seventh to once again tie the score.  The game now stood at 3-3 and extra innings would ensue.

Finally in the top of the ninth, Clarkston's Joe Popp delivered the decisive blow. Popp stepped to the plate and promptly rapped an RBI double to give Clarkston a 4-3 lead.  From there David Steward and Sean Martens also delivered key RBI hits giving Clarkston a 6-3 lead, a lead they would not relinquish.

Clarkston, who has had a great year up to this point, earned a hard fought victory when they needed it most coming off of two losses the night before.  A battle tested wins like this one surely will pay dividends down the road.