(Clarinda) -- The Clarinda baseball team entered the week on one of their hottest streaks in years.
Before it was snapped by Creston Monday, the Cardinals had won six consecutive games – or the longest win streak for the program during the QuikStats era (dating back to the 2008 season). The win streak was a turnabout from their season-opening five-game losing skid.
“We started out the season playing some pretty good teams early,” Coach Rod Eberly told KMA Sports. “We had some young kids we were trying to bring along, and when you lose five kids from your lineup you have to try to fill that void. Early in the season, you’re trying to find out who you’re going to be.”
It didn’t take long to find out they had a pretty good and deep pitching staff. Eleven different players have thrown at least 2 1/3 innings this season, and it’s been headlined by five with 10 1/3 or more.
“We’ve got some depth,” Eberly said. “There’s about 10 or 11 guys we can put out there, and we feel can compete in a varsity game for us.”
Senior Sy Young has thrown 18 2/3 innings and posted a 2.63 ERA while 8th grader Wyatt Schmitt has been a pleasant surprise in his debut season with a 2-0 record, 13 strikeouts and a 2.14 ERA in 16 1/3 innings. Schmitt’s latest two outings were wins over Kuemper and St. Albert.
“For his age, he’s got really good demeanor on the mound,” Eberly said. “He’s got pretty good command of his pitches and throws a lot of strikes. To do that and be able to compete against some very good teams has been a definite plus and boost for our team.”
Other standouts on the mound this season include junior Jakob Childs (14.1 IP, 4.88 ERA, 20 K), ace reliever and freshman Cooper Neal (10.2 IP, 1.97 ERA, 11 K, 3 saves), sophomore Jon McCall (10.1 IP) and junior Nathan Lindsay (9.2 IP, 2.90 ERA, 11 K).
At the plate, junior Parker Rock has led the way with 20 hits, including five doubles, and leads the team with 13 stolen bases. Young (.326 BA), senior Kam Fulk (.304 BA) and freshman Logan Green (.318 BA) are also hitting over .300.
Clarinda will look to bounce back with a tough doubleheader against Glenwood on Wednesday before a trip to Lewis Central on Thursday. They will also travel to Saydel for meetings with Alta-Aurelia and the host Saydel on Saturday.
“This is a big week for us,” Eberly said. “We’re going to find out where we’re at this week and continue to try to get better. We know the Hawkeye Ten always prepares us for district baseball. Our goal is to try to learn from some of the mistakes we make and try to get better.”
Listen to the complete interview with Coach Eberly below.