Tripped up by 'Horns: Clearview Clippers routed by Lutheran West Longhorns for first Patriot Athletic Conference loss of season

MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Clearview’s Antonio Pagan dives and misses a fly ball in centerfield during the first inning against Lutheran West at Clipper Field on Wednesday. Lutheran West routed the Clippers, 17-4.

MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Clearview’s Jared Miller throws a pitch against Lutheran West at Clipper Field on Wednesday.

MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Clearview's Antonio Bennett dives for a ground ball against Lutheran West.

MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Clearview's Ryan Vargo grabs a routine ground ball at third base.

SHEFFIELD TWP. — Clearview was riding high following a 6-5 win over Black River Tuesday night that was ensured by a Ryan Vargo walk-off single. Wednesday the Clippers looked to be an entirely different team as they trudged through a 17-4 run-ruling loss to Lutheran West in Patriot Athletic Conference play.

“When you play a tough, back-and-forth, emotional game like that, and try to come back the next day it’s tough to get started,” said Clearview coach Dennis Pihlblad, whose team slipped to 4-4 (4-1 PAC). “I’m afraid that’s what happened today.”

Clippers starting pitcher Jared Miller (0-1) struggled with the turnaround as mightily as anyone on the roster. The right-hander walked four batters and hit two others as the Longhorns (4-4, 2-3) batted around and then some to score four runs in the first and six in the second inning. He was pulled after 2 2/3 innings in his team’s first PAC loss of the season.

“We have to concentrate on first pitch strikes,” Pihlblad said. “When you pitch from behind and then you have to throw a fastball down the middle they’re going to hit it.

“Jared has pitched good for us all year, though. I have confidence in him. He’ll come out better the next time.”

Chad Anderson coaxed a fly out from Lutheran West shortstop C.J. Griffin to stop the bleeding in the second, but began struggling in the third. He issued a walk to cleanup hitter Eric Lewis before hitting a batter and an error by Ryan Vargo loaded the bases.

Lewis scored on a fielder’s choice that saw Tyler Cerny thrown out at first, while Collin McCartney and Nick Gambetta scored when pinch hitter Jake Wojcik hit a Texas leaguer to shallow left.

Pitching with a comfortable lead, starter Greg Kunze (2-1) went four innings for the Longhorns, striking out seven, and walking one without giving up an earned run. Clearview’s lone run came in the third when Roger Engle reached on a ball muffed by right fielder Nick Gambetta and was driven in by an Antonio Bennett double two batters later.

The onslaught continued in the fourth as the Longhorns touched up for another two runs. He began the inning again with another free pass and Lewis followed by smoking the ball down the left field line for a double that pushed Griffin to third.

Griffin scored when catcher Derek Naim grounded into a fielder’s choice and Lewis crossed home when Kyle Dicapua looped a double to right field while pinch hitting for McCartney.

Lutheran West plated two more runs off Mark Krasienko in the fifth, then sent in David Pierce to solidify the run-ruling.

“That’s a good coached team over at Lutheran West,” Pihblad said “They stayed back and waited for their pitches.”

Pinch hitting for Engle, Mike Piedmont began a rally in the home half of the fifth, chipping a single to shallow right. Antonio Pagan found the gap in left-center to advance Piedmont and Vargo brought them both home with an RBI double that skipped to the center field wall.

Pierce ended the comeback attempt by putting down the next three batters.

“We really didn’t play well at all today,” Pihlblad said. “This is a game that you just file and forget. We have a tough game at home against Columbia that we need to come ready to play for.”

The first pitch for today’s game against Columbia is scheduled for 4:30 p.m at Clipper Field.

Lutheran West 17, Clearview 4

Patriot Athletic Conference

Lutheran West (4-4, 2-3) 463 22 — 17 13 1

Clearview (4-4, 4-1) 001 03 — 4 5 1

TWO HITS OR MORE — Lutheran West: Nick Gambetta, Jake Wojcik; 2B — L: Geye, Lewis; C: A. Bennett; WP — Kunze (2-1), LP — Miller (0-1).

@natepentecost

Last Updated: 4/17/2013 11:37:57 PM EST

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