Diamond Cats undefeated in four games
By Scott Bellile
The Clintonville Diamond Cats Legion baseball team went undefeated for four games to win the five-team New London Clippers’ tournament at Hatten Stadium July 9-12.
The Diamond Cats led by 10 or more runs in three of the four games they played. New London posed a challenge but Clintonville attained a narrower 8-7 victory in their matchup on Saturday, July 11.
“The boys worked hard this weekend on the diamond in the heat,” Coach Mark Doornink said. “We battled through a few tough innings and came up with some timely hits.”
Clintonville stepped into the diamond Friday, July 10, where they played four strong innings to end things for Manawa 14-0 halfway through the fifth.
Nick Hogen led in RBIs that day with three while Parker Mindel and Hogen contributed three runs.
On Saturday afternoon, Clintonville faced off against Green Lake and won 11-1. A strong third inning was fueled by Mindel’s in-park home run that brought home three runners, followed by Hogen coming home on a wild pitch.
That game too ended early when three more runs for the Diamond Cats reached the 10-run limit in inning six.
That night New London Legion served the Diamond Cats their only near-miss of the weekend.
New London posted two runs in the first inning and one in the second. A powerful six-run second inning for Clintonville didn’t keep New London at bay, as New London returned with four more runs in the third to lead 7-6.
Two runs by Clintonville at the bottom of the sixth regained the Diamond Cats’ lead. New London produced no runs at the top of the seventh. The game ended 8-7.
Clintonville faced less stress the next day, Sunday, July 12, when players propelled themselves to a 13-3 victory over Bonduel to win the championship. Paul Kenfield and Mindel led in RBIs with three each. Nick Hogen pitched a complete game.
Doornink said it felt great to win the Clippers tournament.
“Our starting pitchers did an excellent job,” Doornink said. “All the players contributed in some way, whether on defense, at the plate or out of the bullpen in relief.
“I’m very proud of these young men and the ball they played,” Doornink said. “I hope we can keep this momentum going into the Regional Tournament.”