BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
Fans held their breath as a deep fly ball soared into left field during the top of the seventh inning as Clarkston Varsity Baseball hosted Rochester Adams last Wednesday.
The hit by the Highlanders would bring in a runner to tie the game. But they were stopped as senior Wolf Jake Giotti made a catch over his head, giving the visitors three outs.
“Jake saved the game for us,” said Jake Arendsen, head coach. “Jake took a great route and made a catch. It was a huge out and pumped everybody up.”
It closed the game with a 3-2 win for Clarkston in the second game in the series against Adams.
Senior Josh Luther and junior Cole Donchez went 2-for-4 at the plate. Clarkston had seven hits in the game and drew five walks.
“Our boys are doing what they do well which is getting on base and finding a way to be successful,” Arendsen said. “But, we are leaving too many runners on base. Our goal this week is to deposit those runs once they get into scoring position and leave less runners stranded on base, having productive outs and moving a runner over, or hitting the sac fly to score a run. Outs are going to happen in the game of baseball. We can’t leave a runner stranded on base.”
Donchez pitched for five and one-third innings. He gave up three hits, had three walks, six strikeouts and one earned run. Luther pitched one and one-third innings. He had two strikeouts, one hit and one walk.
“He came in once against in a tight situation with runners on base,” Arendsen said. “He got us out of a jam.”
The third game of the series is currently suspended at the top of the fifth inning with Clarkston leading 5-4.
“It feels like we ended the week on the right note where we wanted to go,” Arendsen said. “Our goal is to win the series. Leaving this game in the fifth game, our goal is to win the last three innings when we make up that game.”
As of now, Luther leads on offense going 2-for-2 at bat with two doubles. The Wolves had two hits and eight walks.
“The boys have done a great job there to approach the plate of getting on base and being patient,” Arendsen added.
Junior Jon Crockett started on the mound going three and two-third innings. He had three strikeouts, three hits, three walks and four unearned runs. Luther came in to finish the fourth inning.
“We had an error in the bottom of the fourth that led to four unearned runs.” Arensen noted. “We should have had an out on the ground ball at first base. We didn’t get the out and before you know it four runs were scored because we are making our pitchers pitch to extra hitters which is a point of emphasis for our defense – we’ve got to get the outs to finish the innings so we don’t have to pitch to extra hitters because that’s when damage is done.”
The Wolves opened their series against Oxford on Monday.
“Oxford brings a good team,” said Arendsen. “It will be a competitive series. Offensively I know they can swing it. We are going to have to be pretty sharp on the mound.”
He added they have Seth Bacon and Brock Henley back from injuries.
“I am excited for those guys to get back in the lineup,” Arendsen said. “The guys have stepped up in a great way to fill those holes while those guys were injured and they will continue to have a role in the lineup.
The Wolves will host the last game of the series on Thursday. Before the game, they will honor Phil Price who recently retired from his position as head coach. He led the Wolves to three league championships, eight district championships, two regional championships and two Final Four appearances. The field ceremony will be at 4:15 p.m. The Wolves host South Lyon on Friday, 4:30 p.m.