OSCEOLA — The Big Reds suffered their first conference loss this season last week, dropping game one of a doubleheader to Clarke 7-4 before coming back to win game two 7-1.
“Clarke is always a tough place to play because guys see a short fence and get big swing happy. The guys weren't taking big swings, we just didn't get enough hits to fall and they made nearly every play,” Centerville head coach Ryan Hodges said.
Clarke used two big innings to win the first game as the Indians scored three runs in the third and four runs in the fifth to go up 7-2. Centerville added two runs late but it wasn’t enough as the South Central Conference champions surrendered their first conference defeat.
Brady Kauzlarich had two RBIs in the game while Walker White and Kolby Micetich also chipped in RBIs. Otis Williams took the loss after giving up three runs, one earned, on three hits with two walks and two strikeouts. Kade Mosley pitched in relief and would give up four runs on four hits with two walks and three strikeouts.
Clarke grabbed an early 1-0 lead in game two as well before Centerville would score seven straight to nab the split.
“I tip my hat to Clarke for beating us game one, they wanted it more and we are very lucky to get a split, they deserved to win. Merrick (Mathews) did a good job keeping his pitch count down for the win and the guys responded a little better to bounce back for the win,” Hodges said.
Merrick Mathews pitched seven strong innings for Centerville, allowing just the one run with five hits, two walks and four strikeouts.
“These are the games this time of year that if you're not careful, they will get you. Hopefully we got humbled and get back at it on Monday,” Hodges said.
No. 9 Centerville (17-3) have another conference road doubleheader on Monday as they take on Chariton (5-13).