TIFFIN– Brent Henry’s Clear Creek Amana (CCA) Clippers suffered a 9-2 loss to the Maquoketa Cardinals Friday, July 5 on the home diamond, but rallied back to win the nightcap 6-5 in a WaMaC varsity doubleheader.
The redbirds scored two runs in the first inning of game one putting the Clippers in an early hole. Ben Gingerich scored CCA’s first run in the bottom of the third while courtesy running for pitcher Colton Beckler. The Clippers struck again in the fourth with Tanner Bandy hitting a double and Cody Wagner picking up a base hit. Wagner managed to escape a rundown situation between first and second while a Jake Neubauer line drive scored Bandy for the 2-2 tie.
The Cardinals loaded up the bases in the top of the sixth and had two redbirds fly home as a grounder headed for the left field fence. A sacrifice fly scored another run while another grounder to left brought in two more to give Maquoketa 7-2 lead. The Cardinals scored again in the seventh on an overthrown ball and on another grounder. Henry brought Beckler off the mound, putting Travis Bowman in to closeout the game with two outs and two redbirds on base. A pop fly deep to center field was caught by Nick Kasenberg to end the half but the 9-2 score held.
After some between-the-games adjustments, the Clippers put three runs on the board in the bottom of the first for a 3-0 lead. AJ Liddell brought Nile Rourke home on an RBI single while Liddell advanced on a double from Bandy and scored on a Cody Wagner line drive single. Bandy came home on a Maquoketa error.
Neubauer, pitching for the Clippers, gave up a run in the top of the second and struck out one Cardinal batter. The redbirds narrowed the gap to one run, down 3-2 in the top of the third and threatened with loaded bases. The Clippers escaped thanks to a crazy chase across the diamond, which resulted in a runner being gunned down for the third out. The Redbirds tied the game 3-3 in the fourth on a sacrifice fly and took the lead with two outs and a runner on third. An RBI single made it 4-3.
Gingerich knotted the game up at 4-4 as he scored while Bryan Kalkhoff reached first on a fielder’s choice in the Clipper half of the fourth. The boys in white loaded up the bases with two outs but left all three men stranded, as they couldn’t capitalize. A sacrifice bunt by Stephen Jensen in the fifth scored Bandy for the lead while a Neubauer double brought in Wagner and CCA was up 6-4.
In the sixth the Cardinals bought a run with a Clipper miscue, but two runners getting gunned down put a lid on their offensive. Liddell took the mound for the seventh inning with his squad clinging to a one-run lead. Clipper defense held firm and the 6-5 score stood for the final.
CCA entertains West Delaware on Wednesday, July 10, before ending the regular season on the road in Washington on Monday, July 15. The Clippers will face South Tama in a Class 3A substate game at Williamsburg on Friday, July 19, with a 5 p.m. start time. The substate final will be played on Monday, July 22, at Williamsburg.