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Clark notched 12 strikeouts and walked just one batter to improve his pitching record to 3-1 for the season. The West Point signee did not allow a base runner past second base to outduel Eagle ace Gage Denton.
“Jake relied on his fastball today, and they couldn’t catch up with it,” Paris head coach Bill Sikes said. “We’re still not hitting the ball like we should be, but it was a win.”
The Cats are now 9-6-1 with one final game on the schedule Monday at Durant, OK, before starting District 13-3A play next Friday, March 21, at Atlanta. Canton falls to 6-6-1.
The Paris defense committed no errors in the field and managed 8 hits against Denton and fellow senior Colton Landes, who got the final 4 outs. Freshman Phillip Sikes, freshman second baseman Conor Henry, and junior centerfielder Drew Helberg each collected 2 hits for Paris.
As was the case in Thursday’s 2-0 loss to state-ranked Hallsville, the Cats had their opportunities at the plate but couldn’t manage the clutch hits except in the third inning. Henry reached on a 1-out single and stole second prior to Clark’s RBI double. A walk gave Paris an opportunity to inflict more damage, but the Eagles turned a double play to end the frame.
A double play grounder also ended a 1-out, bases-loaded threat in the first inning by Paris. Helberg led off the seventh inning with a double and was bunted to third by junior Casey Reavis, but a pair of groundouts kept it a 1-run game, and that’s the way it ended with Clark getting the final 3 outs on a groundout, strikeout, and pop-up.
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