It was a tale of squandered opportunities...but then came the fifth inning.
Clarke Baseball (16-2, 15-1) scored seven runs in the fifth, and that, coupled with solid pitching from Tim Ingram, led to a 7-3 win over visiting Seaford (11-7, 10-6) on Tuesday.
"The boys played well today," Clarke Assistant Coach Mike Meittinis said. "We had a bit of a slow start, but I knew they'd come together."
Clarke stranded seven runners in the first four innings. Even though they only had one hit in that span, Bobby Ryan, who started for Seaford, walked seven Rams in that span. Clarke was 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position during that span.
In the mean time, Seaford took the lead in the top of the third when Eddie Schaller drilled a two-out single off of Ingram to score Sean Walsh.
But then Clarke came alive.
The Rams sent 12 batters to the plate, and at the end of the inning, seven players scored. Clarke got RBI doubles from John Jarosz and Chris Appell, and Justin Ragusa, Joe Fusco and Rob Henderson added RBI singles. It was all capped off by a sacrifice fly from Michael Aloisio.
"We did a good job keeping it going," Meittinis said. "That's the key."
Ingram took over from there, allowing just three hits in his outing. He added seven strikeouts and four walks in the effort.
"It took a while for me to get my curveball to work," Ingram said. "But I kept my team in the game, and I knew they'd eventually come back."
Seaford wouldn't go quietly though, as a comeback was mounted in the top of the seventh. Two runs scored on a Clarke error, and then Seaford loaded the bases to bring the tying run to the plate, but Clarke's Kevin Mackey got the big strikeout to end the game.
"It was nice that we were able to show fight," Seaford Coach Michael Milano said. "But we need to take advantage of chances and make plays."
The two teams will tangle one more time on Wednesday at 4:45 p.m.Box Score 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E Seaford 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 7 8 0 Clarke 0 0 0 0 7 0 x 3 4 1