CLOVER — Riding the momentum of five wins in six games, the Clover High School baseball team will end regular-season play by hosting York on Friday night.
A lively crowd is expected for the much-anticipated game at the CHS baseball complex at 7 p.m.
CHS head baseball coach Darrell VanDyke expects a typical York-Clover atmosphere. “You never know what will happen when Clover and York get together,” VanDyke said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a barnburner. We’re playing better baseball, and so is York.”
“We won five of six and could’ve won six of six,” said VanDyke. “Northwestern came from behind during our winning span.”
VanDyke said he has been pleased with the team’s focus and commitment. “The kids are playing with blinders,” said VanDyke. “They aren’t worried about the last pitch, the last inning or the last game. They are focusing on what’s next.”
VanDyke said he likes the Blue Eagle team’s mindset at this stage. “The players have a good attitude and the enthusiasm is high,” he said. “Our pitching is good. We’re starting to scatter some hits and playing good defense. It’s a good sign when the team is playing its best ball at the end of the season when it really counts.”
The Blue Eagles were still in the playoff mix entering this week, depending on their success against a tough Nation Ford team on the road and the Cougars at home Friday. “Our playoff chances also depend on the outcome of other region games this week,” said VanDyke.
The Blue Eagles’ success continued with an 8-2 win against Lancaster at home Friday. “A lot of kids up and down the lineup hit the ball in the win over Lancaster,” VanDyke said. “Justin Rayano hit his first career home run.”
Sophomore pitcher Barrett Courtwright went the distance to get the win.
Davis McCarter, Corey Parham, Chase Goldberg, Cody Jenkins, Zane Van Hook, Chase Galant and Rayano each hit safely. Galant had three RBIs and Rayano belted a two-run homer.
The CHS junior varsity defeated the Lancaster JVs 11-3, with Will Schlirf picking up the win to go with three hits. Nate Morrison, Jimmy Marcelli, Austin King and Justin Adams had two hits each.
In a previous game, the Blue Eagles scored four runs in the seventh inning to defeat the Rock Hill Bearcats, 4-3.
Patrick Love allowed three unearned runs as the winning pitcher. Galant had two hits, an RBI and scored a run. Parham and Goldberg added RBIs.
The Blue Eagles junior varsity rolled past Rock Hill 13-1, with Marcelli, Noah Lindsay and Brandon Welch pitching well in the win.
Marcelli had a big night at the plate with three hits and three RBIs. Austin King had two hits and four RBIs. Justin Adams had two hits and Zack Dow had a two-run single.