The North Clay Cardinals opened their spring season last Saturday with a 7-1 loss to the Olney Tigers. 
Monday, the Cardinals came home and hosted the Neoga Indians and then Tuesday hosted the Brownstown Bombers.

 


The North Clay Cardinals opened their spring season last Saturday with a 7-1 loss to the Olney Tigers.  Monday, the Cardinals came home and hosted the Neoga Indians and then Tuesday hosted the Brownstown Bombers. When all was said and done the Cardinals started the week with a pair of victories and look to continue their trend to close out the week. The Cardinals dominated Neoga on Monday with excellent pitching, timely hitting, and good defense. Junior Colton Bailey pitched six innings, allowed one run on seven hits while striking out five. Senior John Logan (JL) Zink came in and pitched the seventh inning, shutting down Neoga. Bailey shut down the Indians in the top of the first inning. North Clay came put a run up on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first inning when JL Zink stole home to give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead. Neoga went down quietly in the top of the second inning, but the North Clay half of the second was a different story. The Cardinals scored three runs on three hits. Dalton Zimmerman drew a one out walk and after a fly out by Clint Quinn, the Cardinals put together three straight doubles from Andrew Grahn, Jonah Zink, and JL Zink. North Clay led 4-0 after two innings of play. Neoga and North Clay both failed to score in the third inning and Bailey held down the Indians in the top of the fourth inning. The Cardinals struck for four more runs in their half of the fourth inning on five hits. A lead off single by Keith Limes and then a single by Zimmerman gave the Cardinals a chance to put runs on the scoreboard. Quinn was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Grahn who drew the second consecutive Cardinal walk and forced Limes in from third. Jonah Zink singled and drove home Zimmerman and Quinn to put North Clay up 7-0, still with no one out in the bottom of the fourth inning. A Bryan Harrington single drove in the Cardinals fourth run of the inning and put them up 8-0. Bailey kept Neoga scoreless through five innings, but they finally tacked on a run in the sixth. The Cardinals matched their sixth inning run and led 9-1.  JL Zink finished the game off by retiring the Indians in order in the top of the seventh inning to give the Cardinals their first win of the spring. Jonah Zink went three of four in the game with four runs batted in. On Tuesday, the Cardinals kept rolling when they hosted the Brownstown Bombers in Louisville. North Clay started slow, but a three-run homerun by JL Zink capped off a five run second inning and put North Clay in total control as they cruised to a short-game 10-0 win. Cardinals Head Coach Rich Grubaugh gave the baseball to Bryan Harrington for Tuesday’s game and he responded by completely shutting down the Bombers offense and threw a no hitter in the process. Harrington helped his own cause in the bottom of the first inning with an RBI single with two outs. His single drove home Jonah Zink who singled earlier in the inning. He then went back to the mound and retired Brownstown on just eight pitches. North Clay’s second inning was an offensive explosion. Limes began the inning by getting hit in the ankle by a pitch and Zimmerman then drew a walk. Zimmerman then was picked off first on a phantom tag for the first out. Quinn flew out to the Bombers first baseman for a quick second out. The top of theorder then began a two out rally with Grahn singling and moving Limes to third. Jonah Zink then reached on an error by the Brownstown second baseman. The error allowed Grahn to move to third on the play. JL Zink then stepped to the plate and drilled the second pitch he saw into the wind, over the left field fence for a three run homerun. Cardinals second baseman Bailey followed by drawing a walk and quickly moved around the bases on a passed ball and scored on a single by Harrington. A Shane Acree ground out ending the inning, but not before the Cardinals led 6-0. Neither team was able to score in the third or fourth innings and after Harrington worked his fifth hitless inning, North Clay looked to short-game the Bombers of Brownstown. The Cardinals fifth started with back-to-back-to back singles by Harrington, Acree, and Limes. Limes singled scored Harrington and then a stolen base by Limes scored Acree to put North Clay up 8-0. After a walk by Quinn, Grahn smashed a single to center and a fielding error on the Brownstown centerfielder allowed Quinn to score the games final run and give the Cardinals back-to-back wins to start the week. Besides Harrington dominating performance onthe mound, he also went three for three at the dish and drove home a pair of runs. JL Zink went one for two in the game with three RBIs, courtesty of the round-tripper and drew a walk. North Clay keeps up their busy schedule on Thursday with a road game at Patoka. They then conlude their four games in five day stretch by hosting St. Anthony Friday afternoon.