Cleveland Gets Past Clayton in Nine

By Ed Hall
Associate Scout, PBR NC

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In the first round of the South Johnston Easter Invitational Baseball Tournament, Cleveland defeated Clayton 10 to 9 in an extra inning game (9) with 5 lead changes.

Cleveland’s RHP Sean Dooley (2018) threw 4 innings allowing 4 runs on 5 hits and 5 walks while striking out 4. Sean cruised the first 2 innings allowing no runs and no hits.  In the first inning Cleveland’s Jojo Smothers (2017) lead off with a single and promptly stole second base. This was followed by Bobby Dixon’s (2017 Pembroke commit) home run to give Cleveland a 2-0 lead.

Clayton’s starting RHP Hayden Myrick (2019) threw 3.2 innings, gave up 9 hits, 2 walks, and 6 runs while striking out 2.

 In the 3rd inning, Clayton’s lead-off hitter Evan Harding (2019) walked followed by a double by Devin Omana (2017) who drove in Harding for the first run. Dylan was thrown out at 3rd (trying to stretch the double into a triple. Clayton’s 3rd hitter in the inning, Sawyer Worrell (2019), walked followed by Tyler Tuthill’s (2018, Appalachian State commit) home run. After 2.5 innings Clayton led 3 to 2.

In Cleveland’s 3rd inning, Smothers lead off single was followed by Parker Smith with another single. Chase Webster (2017) and Craig Ransom (2018) singled and drove in a run each. Dalton Sanderlin grounded out to second but drove in a run to retake the lead. After 3 complete innings the score was 5 to 3.

In the 4th inning, Clayton’s Noah Boykin (2018), led off with a walk followed by singles by Eli Curry (2018) and Harding. With the bases loaded, Omana smashed a ground ball down the third base line. Cleveland’s third baseman, Parker Smith (2019), made a diving back hand catch, tagged third base and fired to first base for the double play but the runner from 3rd scored. After 3.5 innings, Clayton trailed 5 to 4.

Cleveland answered in the bottom of the 4th inning Tyler Keenan (2017 Ole Miss Recruit) entered the game and promptly doubled.  Smothers followed with a double as well.  Two walks pushed across another run.  Clayton went to the bullpen looking for LHP Sawyer Worrell (2019) to close the inning. Worrell continued on the bump for Clayton, ultimately pitching 4.1 innings, giving up 4 hits, and walked 3 while striking out 1 and giving up 3 runs. After 4 complete innings, Cleveland led Clayton 6 to 4.

Cleveland’s LHP Jordan Smothers (2017) came on in relief in the 5th inning. He pitched 3 innings, gave up 6 hits, hit 1 batter, struck out 1 and allowed 5 runs. In the 5th inning, with the bases loaded Boykin’s single drove in 2 runs and was followed by a double by Curry to drive in 2 more runs.  Harding kept the rally going with a single and driving in another run.  Smothers was able to get the next two batters to fly out to right field to end the inning. After 4.5 innings Clayton took an 8 to 6 lead.

In the 6th inning, Cleveland’s offense went to work again.  With one run across and a runner on, Chase Webster (2017) roped a 2-run homer giving Cleveland a 9-8 lead after 6. 

In the 7th inning, Connor Lane (2017) lead off with a single and Boykin laid down a sacrifice bunt. The next batter struck out.  Harding hit a Texas-leaguer between the second baseman and right fielder. With the second baseman sprinting out and the right fielder charging in, there was a collision and the ball fell in for a double driving in a run. After 6.5 innings the score was tied at 9 apiece.

In the top of the 8th inning, Cleveland brought in RHP Parker Smith (2019) to pitch. He threw 2 innings, gave up 0 hits, walked 2, 0 strike outs, and allowed 0 runs. After 8.5 innings the score was tied at 9.

Worrell was able to keep Cleveland quiet in the 7th and 8th innings.  In the 9th, Conner Lane (C/RHP, 2017) moved from behind the dish and onto the mound.  A walk, push bunt, and intentional walk loaded the bases, giving Cleveland a chance to walk-off and a 3rd walk in the inning did just that.  Cleveland moves forward in the South Johnston Easter Invitational with the 10-9 win.

Look for players from this game to be in the NC High School Scout Blog in the coming days.