DELAWARE — Clear Fork’s baseball team traveled down I-71 to face one of central Ohio’s premier baseball teams in Olentangy Orange on Saturday. The results were not quite what the Colts had hoped for. The Pioneers scored in four of six innings on their way to a 9-0 shutout.
Dylan Wade, who was last Saturday’s winning pitcher against Loudonville, struggled from the outset against Orange. The lefty faced eight batters in each of the first two innings, allowing seven runs on eight hits to open the game.
Clear Fork head coach Rusty Staab recognized the situation,
“Dillon struggled,” Staab said. “He’s not a pitcher that can afford to get behind in the count. He’s got to get ahead, and he didn’t.”
The Colts’ defensive miscues — throwing to the wrong base, attempting a tag at second rather rather than a sure out at first — didn’t help Wade’s cause.
Wade pitched four innings, allowing eight runs on nine hits. He walked two and he hit two batters. He only allowed one extra base hit, a double to Orange second baseman Tyler Ross.
Clear Fork had scoring opportunities but was unable to bring runners home.
“We hit the ball well, but right at people,” said Staab. “We would get some guys on base and we just didn’t do anything with it. Against a team like Olentangy Orange, we can’t let that happen.”
Playing against a Division I opponent may have intimidated the young Colts.
“They looked at this as if they were playing a giant,” Staab said. “You can just see that with some of the at-bats we had. We were really timid and not aggressive, waiting for something bad to happen, which always does.”
He tried to get the Colts over the intimidation factor.
“I told them they put their pants on the same way we do. I think we have some kids who are mentally tough and some aren’t as tough other, because of the travel ball they play.”
Jared Lind, Hunter Boyer and Thomas Staab all singled for the Colts.
Last season’s all-distract catcher Luke Clark, coming off injury, stepped in and launched a pinch hit double to center field.
As the second half of the season is set to begin the Colts are starting to get back to full strength.
“There were some bright spots,” Staab said. “Hunter Auk is back in the lineup Luke (Clark) is going to be back in the lineup and Jared Smith will be back in the lineup.”
On top of the loss, Thomas Staab was hit on a surgically repaired ankle in the top of the seventh inning, forcing the center fielder to the bench.
”Thomas got drilled at the plate, right where he had surgery,” said Staab. “Hopefully that’s day-to-day. He’s going to have ice on it all day Sunday.”
Staab is looking ahead to the remaining schedule as his team gets back to full-strength.
“We got big games coming up and we have to have a short memory. We’re going to get back and start playing the teams in our area and go from there,”
Clear Fork travels to Shelby High School on April 17.