Columbiana (19-6) and Heartland battled at Cene Park Saturday morning with the Clippers defeating the Lions 5-1. The game served as a tune up for the district semi-finals for each squad next week. Columbiana will take on Springfield at Niles on Monday at 4:30 while Heartland will battle Lake Center Christian at Cene Park on Tuesday.
Both teams used three pitchers in the matchup, monitoring pitch counts while getting pitchers work for next week. Seth Spooner got the start for Columbiana and was dominant in his one inning of work, striking out the side. Zachary Pleska (5-1) pitched the next 3.2 innings giving up four hits and one run while striking out six. Devin Daugherty finished off the final 2.1 innings giving up two hits and striking out three.
Offensively, Columbiana got off to a hot start scoring three runs in the first and two in the second, building a nice five run cushion that the pitchers wouldn’t relinquish. In the first, Spooner doubled in two runs followed by Riley McElwain who singled in Spooner. Ian Less hit a second inning sacrifice fly which resulted in two runs, as an error by Heartland on the throw home allowed both Eddie Clancy and Bayden Pipoly to score. Less finished the day with three walks to go along with his sacrifice fly.
Sunday, the Clipper Seniors will graduate at 2:00 PM in the high school gym with the next game Monday vs. Springfield at 4:30 PM in Niles.