Alex Henry – Staff Writer
This past weekend, the Clarion University Golden Eagles baseball team traveled to Institute, W.Va. to play against West Virginia State Yellow Jackets three times in two days.
For the first game on Friday, Clarion made the board on a sacrifice fly from Golden Eagle senior first baseman Tyler Falk in the top of the first inning.
After getting the early lead, Clarion senior starting pitcher Kane McCall took the mound and surrendered three runs in the bottom of the first inning.
In the top of the second, the Golden Eagles responded as freshman third baseman Garrett Gaslow hit an RBI double. Shortstop Joey Lopez had a run scoring single to tie the game in the fourth.
After the first, McCall settled down and pitched four scoreless innings.
McCall finished the game with three runs in five innings.
Unfortunately, the Golden Eagles lost on a homer in the bottom of the sixth resulting in a 4-3 loss.
For the second game, Clarion got down 4-0 through the first four innings before rallying over the next three, and taking the lead 5-4 spearheaded with a two-run double by senior left fielder John Finke in the fifth.
The Yellow Jackets were able to tie it up in the bottom of the seventh, and would go on to beat Clarion for the second narrow victory by a score of 6-5.
In the final game of the weekend, the Golden Eagles got on the board early in the first, taking a 1-0 lead.
Finke came up big for Clarion, scoring two runs and giving the Golden Eagles a 5-2 lead.
Lopez had another RBI single in the eighth, making it 7-4.
Clarion prevailed with a 9-5 victory.
Senior pitcher Jay Moog said, “There was a lot of good baseball played on the first weekend of the season. It always takes a few games to get the butterflies out, but we adapted well.”
With new head coach Anthony Williams now in the fold, Moog stated, “You can tell it’s a new year, a new coach and a whole new brand of clarion baseball. Different from years past. The team is enthusiastic and we are ready to compete this year in the PSAC.”
Moog spoke on this being his final year at Clarion. “I am more than excited to begin my last campaign as a Golden Eagle, yet don’t want to see it end quickly, so it’s very bittersweet.”
Clarion starts with a 1-2 record on the year, and will return over spring break when they travel to North Carolina for a set of games against Kutztown Saturday, March 11.