Clinton Shuts Out Legends as the Catch Improve in Conference

Game Recap 6/8/16 from So. Cal. FCA Baseball on Vimeo.

By Keaton A. Moore - Sports Information

La Mirada, CA-Early and productive offense was the support starting pitcher Zach Clinton (Liberty University) needed to throw his best outing of the summer, pitching a three-hit shutout against the Long Beach Legends. Clinton’s dominant outing snapped the Southern California Catch’s two-game losing streak and evened up their conference record to 1-1.

Ten games into their first summer in the California Collegiate League, the Long Beach Legends are still seeking their first conference win. Although they are 6-4 overall, they are 0-3 in conference and are in the basement of the south division. While their pitching staff brags a 2.40 combined ERA, their offense holds a .239 batting average.

After receiving the loss for his four-run start in Palm Springs, Clinton blanked the Legends through his six inning outing. Clinton flirted with a perfect game, retiring the first nine batters in order, but a leadoff single in the bottom of the fourth spoiled his chances. Regardless, Clinton led the Catch to their first shutout of the summer, allowing three hits and two walks with four strikeouts. He is now 1-1 on the season and his stellar start brought his ERA down to 3.09.

“I was just trying to go after guys and get quick outs and honestly it was good to have solid defense behind me,” Clinton said. “When you’re able to rely on the people behind you, it makes pitching a lot easier.”

Breaking their pattern of late game scoring, the Catch jumped on the board in the top of the second. With Zach Malis (Grand Canyon University)and Jaiden France (Undecided)on base from back-to-back leadoff singles, Jimmy Gallarda (Biola University)started the scoring with an RBI single. Later in the inning, Jeff Murray (Santa Ana College)reached first on an error, which plated a run and gave the Catch a 2-0 lead.

One inning later, France came to bat with the bases loaded and added onto the Catch’s lead with an RBI single. He finished his day 2-4 with one run and one RBI, boosting his batting average to .438.

Daniel Jang (Biola University)relieved Clinton in the seventh inning, battling back from a lead off single with a strikeout and two fly outs. Entering the game in the top of the eighth, Nick Wernke (West Virginia University)preserved the shutout, despite walking three batters and finished with three strikeouts. In the end, France closed out the ninth inning with one hit and a strikeout, securing the Catch’s 3-0 victory.

With their new found momentum and improved conference record, the Catch return to Biola University to play a nonleague game against the San Diego Waves on Thursday, June 9 at 4:30 p.m.