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  • Writer's picturetgardner1167

Pitching, Defense Have Clarence Baseball Off to Hot Start

Every good baseball team needs great pitching and every great pitcher needs a strong defense. Clarence has that this season and that makes it no surprise the Red Devils are undefeated to start 2019.

Clarence is 3-0 and has yet to give up a run to a Western New York opponent – and that’s a big reason the Red Devils are thinking big in 2019.

“It makes it relatively easy when you get that type of pitching,” Clarence coach Dave Smith said. “We’re throwing strikes, playing great defense and throw in some timely hits and we’re off to a good start.”

Clarence remained unbeaten on the young season with a solid 7-0 win over visiting Canisius on Thursday afternoon. Junior Ben Jennings threw a complete-game five-hitter for his first win of the season.

“My fastball and location was working well but it helps that our infield is very reliable,” he said.

Indeed, the defense is drawing rave reviews from all involved. The infield defense is led by St. Bonaventure-bound third baseman Jack Putney and a slick double play combo of shortstop Isaiah Corry and second baseman Matt Brown.

“I’m happy with how we’re playing, defense has been strong. That makes it easier for us knowing we just have to throw strikes and they’ll make the plays,” said senior pitcher Jon White. “We have some good pitching on the team, but it really helps having good infielders behind you that you can trust, knowing you can throw strikes and they’re going to make plays.”

Clarence finished last season at 16-5 and earned a No. 2 seed for the Class AA sectional tournament but was upset by Williamsville North, a team the Red Devls had defeated twice in ECIC I play. The Spartans – who went on to the sectional championship game – are expected to be a big threat again this season but Clarence has plenty of returnees as well.

The Red Devils opened the season with a 7-5 win at Mamaroneck High School on Long Island. Clarence then opened ECIC play with an impressive 6-0 win over rival Orchard Park.

A big test comes Monday when the Red Devils travel to take on defending Class AA champion Lancaster. The teams are scheduled to meet again the next day in Clarence.

“Every year we come in thinking we can win sectionals and this year we definitely can,” White said. “Hopefully we can do that and push past it too.”

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