By Chris Umscheid
North Liberty Leader
WATERLOO — The Clear Creek Amana (CCA) Clippers opened the 2013 varsity baseball season on the road Thursday, May 23 against the Waterloo Columbus Sailors. In the debut of new coach Brent Henry, the Clippers fell 3-2 in the first half of the doubleheader, but rallied back for a 15-7 win in the nightcap.
In game one, the Sailors scored in the bottom of the first for a 1-0 lead and extended it with another in the second. In the top of the third the Clippers got on the scoreboard when Tanner Bandy came home on a Nile Rourke line drive single to center field. Bandy scored again in the top of the fifth on a single to left field by A.J. Liddell. But, the Sailors struck again in the bottom of the inning and held the Clippers for the win.
Liddell threw five innings giving up four hits, three runs (two earned), walked two and struck-out two. Bandy worked two innings on the mound giving up one hit. Rourke and Jake Neubauer had two hits each while Bandy, Liddell and Cody Wagner had one hit each.
For CCA: 7 hits, 2 runs, 1 error
For Waterloo Columbus: 5 hits, 3 runs, 3 errors
In the nightcap the Clippers came out with a four-run effort in the top of the first inning. Liddell and Rourke scored as Stephen Jensen reached first base on an error, then Wagner came on a passed ball and Jensen Scored on an RBI triple by Robby Swails. The Sailors struck back with a run in the bottom of the second for a 4-1 ballgame. In the fourth, CCA put up three more runs when Bandy scored as Liddell reached first on a fielder’s choice, Nick Kasenberg came home on an RBI single by Neubauer and Swails scored on an RBI double by Bandy. The resulting 7-1 lead was short-lived, though, as the Sailors found four runs to cut the lead to two runs. A big six-run effort in the top of the fifth gave the Clippers room to breathe. Jensen scored on an RBI single by Swails who was driven home on a Bandy double, taking Travis Bowman with him. Neubauer doubled giving the green light to Kasenberg and Bandy to score, and Neubauer made it to home plate as Rourke took first on an error.
The Sailors tried to rally, and mustered up two more runs in the bottom of the inning, but Neubauer scored in the top of the seventh on a Jensen single and Rourke came home on an error to close-out the game.
Rourke worked the mound for four innings giving up three hits and four runs (one earned). He walked five and struck-out one. Colton Beckler worked three innings and was credited with the save as he gave up two hits and two runs (one earned), struck-out three and felt the sting of letting a homerun happen on his watch.
Neubauer led the offense with three hits; Bandy and Swails had two each while Rourke, Jensen and Bowman had one apiece. Bandy and Neubauer were credited with three RBIs each.
For CCA: 10 hits, 15 runs, 5 errors
For Waterloo Columbus: 5 hits, 7 runs, 6 errors
The Clippers are on the road again Thursday, May 30, for a varsity double-header in Anamosa against the Raiders and are home Monday, June 3, for a double-dip with the Stormin’ Pointers from Center Point-Urbana.