Buckeye bucks past Clearview Clippers

MORNING JOURNAL/SAM GREENE Clearview’s Jack Bennett swings at a pitch in the bottom of the third inning against Buckeye on Wednesday.

MORNING JOURNAL/SAM GREENE Clearview’s Jared Miller delivers a pitch in the top of the fourth inning against Buckeye on Wednesday.

MORNING JOURNAL/SAM GREENE Clearview's Antonio Bennett delivers a pitch during the top of the fourth inning against Buckeye on Wednesday.

MORNING JOURNAL/SAM GREENE Clearview's Antonio Bennett makes a play from short stop during the top of the fourth inning against Buckeye on Wednesday.

SHEFFIELD TWP. — Buckeye has stampeded through the Patriot Athletic Conference this season, compiling a 9-0 league record going into Wednesday’s game at Clearview. Facing Kent State commit Eli Kraus, the Clippers fared no better than previous PAC opponents, suffering a 10-0 mercy-rule loss to the Bucks.

Freshman hurler Antonio Bennett took the mound for Clearview (9-9, 5-4 PAC) and felt the impact of a pitching layoff. After keeping the Bucks (13-5, 9-0) off the scoreboard in the first, Bennett gave up a combined eight runs during the second and third innings.

“This is a top team in the conference and in the area and (Kraus) is one of the best three or four pitchers in the area so we had to be ready to go,” Clippers’ coach Dennis Pihlblad said. “Antonio Bennett was struggling with some arm problems and hasn’t pitched in about 10 days so his locations wasn’t there like it usually is.”

Bennett allowed the first three runners on in the second and the rest of the Buckeye lineup made him pay.

Jeff Susalla brought home the game’s first run on a fielder’s choice that saw a runner thrown out at third. Corey Scott then singled to plate another run before Robbie Nonamker finished off the inning’s scoring with a sacrifice fly to left-center.

Things only became worse for the Clippers in the third inning. Bennett issued a leadoff walk to Joe Bruening before allowing a single to Tyler Sovizral. Both runners advanced on a passed ball and Nico Galizio brought them home by smashing a double to deep right-center.

Nick Duliba singled to push Galazio to third and the bases were juiced once again after Bennett walked Susalla.

Jared Miller came on in relief and gave up a two-run single to Scott that moved Sovizral to third. Two errors led to two more runs to cap off the Bucks’ six-run frame. The Bucks added another run in the fifth to complete the run-ruling.

“We got behind in the count early and they hit the ball hard,” Pihlblad said. “That’s probably the best team we’ve faced all year. You can’t walk batters against good teams like that and you can’t make a lot of errors and we did both today.”

Kraus kept Clearview hitless through three innings before Antonio Pagan singled to shallow center to begin the fourth. The knock stands as the Clippers’ only of the day as Kraus went five innings, striking out three and walking two in the shutout.

“There’s a reason why he’s going to Kent State,” Pihlblad said of Kraus. “He’s got four pitches and he can throw all of them for strikes. He made his pitches when he needed to. He’s confident and tough and we knew that coming in.”

The Clippers are one game back in the PAC Stripes Division and need to win the remainder of their conference games to have a chance to win the division. Clearview continues PAC action today with a game at Brooklyn. First pitch is slated for 4:30 p.m.

Buckeye 10, Clearview 0

Patriot Athletic Conference Crossover

Buckeye (13-5, 10-0) 036 01 — 10 6 1

Clearview (9-9, 5-4) 001 00 — 0 1 3

TWO HITS OR MORE — Buckeye: N. Duliba, C. Scott, T. Sovizral; 2B — B: N. Galizio. WP — Kraus; LP — Antonio Bennett (1-2).

Last Updated: 5/1/2013 9:44:07 PM EST

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