BASEBALL Top-ranked Clippers blanked by Rebels
Crestview edged previously unbeaten Columbiana, 1-0, with an unearned run.
NEW WATERFORD -- On the day the Columbiana High baseball team learned that it was ranked number one in the state, its rival from Crestview came up with an impressive 1-0 victory in a Tri-County League game Monday.
"We were really pumped up with them coming in at 11-0," Crestview coach Rick Gates said. "But really we both could have been 5-5 and we would have been just as fired up about playing them."
Clippers' starter Billy Sattler yielded just one hit while fanning six and walking one.
But Crestview scored the game's lone run in the bottom of the first inning when leadoff hitter Jordan Reynolds walked, went to second on a passed ball and stole third. Reynolds scored on a fielding error.
Eric Whittenberger's two-out single in the fifth was the only hit for Crestview (8-4, 6-2 TCL).
"We talk about being fundamentally sound," Clippers (11-1, 6-1) coach Shawn Alazaus said. "But then we give up that leadoff walk and they score on an error. That's baseball, though.
"When you're 11-0 and ranked number one in the state, everybody is going to play their best game against you," Alazaus said. "If they [Crestview] continue to play like that, they are going to win a lot of games. I'm a winner and I never think that losing a game helps, but we may have learned some things today."
Columbiana fared little better at the plate, getting only two hits -- singles in the second inning by Sattler and third inning by David Vitko.
Vitko also reached twice on errors and managed a pair of steals as Columbiana had runners in scoring position five times but came up empty.
"This is one of the best games I've pitched," Sattler (1-1) said. "It sure is tough to lose like that. Coming in, we were pretty happy but I think we felt the pressure, too."
Sattler said he didn't know which was worse -- losing while giving up just one hit or getting beat while throwing a no-hitter.
"I think it would be pretty tough both ways," Sattler said.
Crestview's Craig Schmidt (1-1) also went the distance. He fanned five and walked two in holding the Clippers hitless over the final four innings.
He seemed to gather more steam as the game went on, getting the last three outs on grounders and the two previous hitters on strikeouts.
"Tonight was just a great high school baseball game," Gates said. "We pretty much dug ourselves a hole earlier in the year, so we really needed this win. The kids really worked hard for it."