Clinton jumps ahead of Turner on Risseeuw's three-run double
BELOIT The official Rock Valley South baseball standings say first-place Clinton is one game ahead of Turner.
But in reality, Clinton is about six inches ahead of Turner.
Trojan right fielder Clayton Stenulson came within six inches of nabbing Cougar second baseman Cody Risseeuw’s three-run double that spearheaded a four-run fourth inning and a 4-2 victory for Clinton High here Thursday in a Rock Valley South first-place showdown.
Risseeuw’s pinpoint double gave Clinton (9-2) a one-game lead over Turner and Parkview (both 8-3) in the conference race with five games to play.
No matter how close the key hit was to being caught, Clinton coach Scott Cernek wasn’t surprised Risseeuw was the player to make the big play.
“Cody (Risseeuw) hit a 0-2 pitch for the big hit,” Cernek said. “He’s an all-around athlete that you want on your team that makes those types of plays.”
Turner, meanwhile, is stuck wondering what could have been.
“It’s a play that has to be made,” Turner coach Ryan Bertelsen said of the three-run double. However, I believe we still have to score more runs to win.”
The Trojans indeed struggled at the plate against Clinton lefthander Justin Langley, who went the distance, allowing two unearned runs on four hits with nine strikeouts.
“Langley pitched a complete game Tuesday night against Lena, Ill.,” Cernek said. “We knew he was going to come back on two days’ rest.
“He started out where he didn’t have the crisp control. Later in the game, he was really spotting the changeup, which got him five of the last six outs of the game.”
The Cougars’ defense wasn’t crisp early in the game, either.
An infield throwing error helped the Trojans score two third-inning runs en route to a 2-0 lead.
But Clinton stormed back with the four-run fourth to take control.
The inning started with the Cougars loading the bases with nobody out. After Trojan pitcher Austin Andrews forced a James Kollash pop out, Tyler Chesmore got a sacrifice fly to left, cutting the deficit to 2-1.
Then, after Langley drew a walk, Risseeuw got a bloop double to clear the bases and give Clinton the 4-2 lead it never relinquished.
The Trojans never threatened from there and were forced to watch the Cougars celebrate the big victory.
“Is Clinton in the driver’s seat right now? Absolutely they are,” Bertelsen said. “But we’ll find out at practice and on Saturday if the guys respond well. There is still a lot of baseball to be played.”
CLINTON 4, TURNER 2
Clinton (ab-r-h-bi)—Kemmer, dh, 4-0-0-0; Brandl, c, 2-1-0-0; Roth, cf, 2-1-2-0; Kruckenberg, ss, 2-1-1-0; Kollash, rf, 3-0-0-0; Chesmore, 3b, 2-0-0-1; Risseeuw, 2b, 3-0-1-3; Brockwell, lf, 3-0-0-0. Totals: 21-4-4-4.
Turner (ab-r-h-bi)—Reese, lf, 3-1-1-0; Andrews, p, 3-0-0-0; Burt, c, 3-1-0-0; Novack, 3-0-0-0; Burns, ss, 2-0-1-0; Pickett, 2b, 3-0-1-0; Metzger, 3b, 2-0-1-0; Stenulson, rf, 2-0-0-0; Ferger, cf, 2-0-0-0. Totals: 23-2-4-1.
Clinton 000 400 0-4
Turner 002 000 0-2
E- Clinton 2, Turner 1. LOB—Clinton 3, Turner 8. 2B—Roth, Risseeuw. SB –Reese, Burns 2. SAC—Andrews. SF—Chesmore.
IP H R ER BB SO
Langley (W) 7 4 2 0 6 9
Andrews (L) 7 4 4 4 2 7