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CCA sweeps Solon

Clippers sail past Spartans in road doubleheader
Outfielder Jackson Ryan returns the ball to the infield during Solon’s doubleheader with Clear Creek Amana June 25 in Tiffin.

TIFFIN– Solon didn’t have what it needed to get past Clear Creek Amana (CCA).
The Clippers swept the Spartan varsity baseball team June 25 in Tiffin. CCA claimed the first game 8-3 and took the nightcap 5-4 in nine innings when Clipper Ben Swails drove home teammate Brock Reade with the winning run.
“CCA has been very solid the last couple of seasons, but they've taken a big step this season and will be a difficult challenge for anyone in late July,” noted Solon Head Baseball Coach Keith McSweeney. “We're struggling to string together good at-bats right now and aren't hitting enough as a team to expect to beat the better teams on our schedule. We'll need to make progress if we hope to achieve our goals in the postseason.”
The Spartans were limited to two hits in the opener while striking out 11 times. Solon batted .080 against CCA’s Reade, who went the distance on the mound.
Although the Spartans jumped out to a 1-0 first-inning lead, the Clippers erased it in the bottom half and built a 5-1 lead after two innings.
Solon responded with a single run in both the third and fifth innings, but CCA gained the ground back with a run in the fourth and two more in the sixth.
“We came out pretty flat in game one and gave them too many free bases,” McSweeney assessed. “We've pitched really well at times, but like everybody else, when we walk guys, our margin for error has been simply too difficult to overcome.”
Junior Drew Turner gave up six earned runs on nine hits on the hill for the Spartans. Senior Sully Steen pitched an inning of relief, allowing two unearned runs on three hits while striking out two.
Freshman Blake Timmons and sophomore Kinnick Pusteoska accounted for Solon’s two hits. Incoming freshman Brett White had the team’s lone RBI and scored twice.
The Spartans jumped out to a 4-0 lead against CCA’s Sam Young in the first inning of the nightcap.
Steen collected two RBI, with White and senior Nolan Pattison adding one each. Solon managed six hits, but struck out six times while collecting three walks.
The Clippers rebounded in the bottom of the third, knotting the game at 4-4 and it remained there until Swails’ winning RBI.
Junior Jake Van Roekel, senior Lucas Walker and junior Jacob Smith combined on the mound for the Spartans in the loss. Walker struck out seven and walked two while giving up four hits and an unearned run over five innings.
“I really like our team and our guys are working really hard to get better,” McSweeney noted. “We've had some distractions in the last week that we needed to overcome that were beyond our control, but we're operating in a strange environment this season and we just need to push through.
“Our goals for the next couple weeks are to gain more confidence at the plate, challenge opposing team's hitters at every opportunity and continue to develop our pitching staff,” he added. “We have the potential to make this another special season and we're really looking forward to competing the next several weeks.”
Solon dipped to 5-4 overall and 3-3 in the East Division with the losses.