JASONVILLE -- After surrendering no hits, but still finding a way to lose on Wednesday against Linton, the Cloverdale Clovers traveled to Jasonville for a night affair with ninth-ranked Shakamak and found the Lakers showed little to no signs of a letdown because of the success of the basketball season.
The Lakers jumped out to a 10-1 advantage before picking up a 10-4 victory over the Clovers.
Cloverdale got off to a productive start to the game when Chase Haltom led off the game with a single and later scored on a two-out RBI single by Coty Blair. But it didn't take long for the Lakers to respond as they posted four on the board in the bottom of the inning off of Haltom.
Jared Rehmel - who finished 4 of 5 in the game with four runs scored and two RBIs - got Shakamak started with a single up the middle. Ridge Inman hit a sharp single past first, followed by Ryan Wilson reaching on an error from the second baseman. Rehmel crossed the plate on the miscue.
After Wilson was gunned down trying to steal second and Steven McNabb struck out, Tyler Utterback was hit by the pitch, followed by a single from John Irons and a double from Derek Collins.
"I think we played all right," said Shakamak coach Chip Sweet. "We made some mistakes, but I thought the kids competed well.
"No more than we've been on the diamond, yesterday (Wednesday) was the only day I would consider we've had a full practice on the diamond because of the weather."
The Clovers' sticks were shut down through the middle innings as five Laker pitchers combined to surrender six hits, but struck out 14 Cloverdale batters. In fact, with the exception of the sixth inning, Laker pitching averaged at least two strike outs per inning.
"Your pitching should be there and your fielding should be there," said Cloverdale coach Tim Savini, "but it usually takes a couple games for the bats to come around. We only had four hits against Linton, so we made a little contact with the baseball.
"Toward the end (against Shakamak) we started to come around. Hopefully it will carry over to next week."
The Lakers picked up another run in the second as Rehmel led off the inning and singled into left field. He later scored on a ground out by Wilson.
"I really didn't know what to expect," noted Sweet. "We've really not taken that much hitting, live. We've taken a lot of hitting inside off the machine. We've really not taken that many swings with live arms. I didn't know what to expect.
"We didn't hit the ball extremely hard, but we put the ball in play. We had some timely hitting. I feel pretty good about scoring 10 runs that first game out."
The Clovers missed key opportunities in the second, third, and sixth innings as they left four runners in scoring position in that stretch.
"They (Shakamak) had two or three really good pitchers," said Savini. "We've got a long way to go. We have a long way to go defensively, pitching wise, and hitting wise."
As the Cloverdale bats were unable to come alivewhile the Lakers struggled in the middle innings, eventually, Shakamak began to manufacture runs and it all began at the top with Rehmel.
In the fourth, Rehmel again led off the inning with a perfectly placed bunt down the third base line and eventually scored on an error hit off the bat of McNabb.
It was in the fourth inning that the Lakers chased Haltom out of the game as he was unable to retire a batter in the fourth.
Kyle McCammon entered in relief and retired the first three hitters he faced.
"Last night (Wednesday) our pitchers walked a lot of guys," said Savini. "That really hurt us. Tonight we came out and had three or four errors and that really hurt us. Take those out of one or two of those innings and this is probably a different
The Clovers issued 14 walks Wednesday against Linton. On Thursday, the Lakers were issued only two. A vast improvement according to Savini.
"After last night (Wednesday), the biggest thing was for him to just throw strikes," said Savini. "He didn't play last year. We kept him around 60-70 pitches."
With Shakamak sitting on a 10-1 lead in the seventh, Cloverdale managed to put three runs on the board in the final inning as both Haltom and McCammon reached base before being driven in by a double from catcher Blair.
Jason Wilson followed with a single into right field, but Rehmel managed to not surrender another run to secure the victory for Shakamak.
The Lakers used five pitchers in the game including starter Ryan Wilson, who picked up the win.
"Knowing that we play Saturday and it's early," mentioned Sweet, "a lot of the guys haven't thrown much. I try to be really careful with their arms early in the season."
Cloverdale (0-2) will return to action next week when they travel to South Putnam on Monday. Shakamak is at Riverton Parke Saturday.
Cloverdale 100 000 3 - 4 6 4
Shakamak 410 140 x - 10 15 3
WP -- Ryan Wilson (1-0); LP -- Chase Haltom (0-1). 2B -- Blair (C); Rehmel, Inman, Collins. E -- McCammon, Co. Blair, Cummings, Cr. Blair (C); Utterback, Reese, McKinley (S). SB -- Co. Blair, Wilson (C); Rehmel, Inman, Wilson, Betts (S).