September 19, 2014

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High school baseball notes: Vermilion’s Tim Clark on the mend after getting hit by line drive

Tim Clark didn`t make it in time to see his teammate, Anthony Labondono, pitch his beauty of a game against Norton on Monday.
While Labondono was tossing a no-hitter and striking out 16, Clark, a senior left-handed pitcher for Vermilion, was busy having 47 staples taken out of his head, the result of surgery he underwent after being struck over the right eye by a line drive on April 24. Doctors had to clean some bone pieces from Clark`s forehead.
“I`ll be there tomorrow,” Clark said, referring to the Sailors` Division II district championship game Tuesday against Bay.
The Sailors lost, 7-0.
Clark`s high school baseball career is over, ended by the blow to the head. It was still a good one, with 20 victories in four years. He was 5-1 with a 0.62 earned run average at the time he was hit by the batted ball. He`ll continue his baseball career at Cleveland State University, but all he can do for the rest of this spring is watch.
“He`s been a great cheerleader,” one Vermilion fan said.
There has been plenty to cheer about, even with Tuesday`s loss. The Sailors hardly missed a beat after losing their ace. They were 10-1 when they lost Clark and 22-5 after the loss to Bay. Along the way, they won the West Shore Conference championship.
“We play good team baseball,” Clark said. “We don`t need to score 13 runs a game. With someone like Anthony on the mound and the good defense we play we can always get a ‘W`. They`ve been great all year.”
But while Clark enjoys his team`s success, and is not shocked by it, he still gives a wistful “yes” when asked if he misses being on the field.
There might be some pain in his heart, but not in his head. Other than sporting an ugly scar from ear to ear, Clark says he`s as good as new.
“I`m feeling great,” he said. “Getting the staples out didn`t hurt at all. I`m feeling better every day.”

Holland days

A big reason Southview is one of the surprising survivors in the Lorain district tournament is the play of senior outfielder Andrew Holland.
Holland had an excellent week, going 10-for-14 with a home run, two doubles, five runs scored and seven runs batted in. He improved his batting average from .371 to .434 and was the hero of both of the Saints` sectional victories.
“His defense has been good all year,” Southview coach Brad Ternes said. “He`s been hitting the ball better over the last three weeks, never more so than last week.”
Ternes was most impressed by the RBIs, which jumped from 12 to 19 for the season in one week.
“It`s not normal for the No. 2 hitter to be the big RBI man,” Ternes said. “The lower part of our batting order has been getting on base and Andrew`s been knocking them in.”

Power restored

When Ryan Kirkpatrick of Avon Lake smacked a two-run homer in the top of the seventh inning May 9 at Jim Popiel Field, it ended a long drought at Admiral King`s home park.
How long had it been since an over-the-fence home run was hit at Jim Popiel Field? The last time it happened the field had not been christened for Mr. Popiel, and the opponent was a school no longer in existence.
Until Kirkpatrick went over the left-center field fence, no one had hit a home run at that site since Jason Simashkevich did it against Lorain Catholic in 2004. Oddly enough, a second home run was hit on May 9 when Admiral King`s Caleb Borden duplicated Kirkpatrick`s feat in the bottom of the seventh.

All-Stars at All Pro

The Lorain County all-star baseball game will be played May 30 at All Pro Freight Stadium, home of the independent minor league Lake Erie Crushers, who open their first season Friday on the road against the Washington Wild Things.
It will be the first game played at the brand new stadium. The game was originally scheduled for Sunday at The Pipe Yard in Lorain.

Contact Steve Byrne at 329-7135 or ctsports@chroniclet.com.

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

Cameron Zima, Vermilion

CLASS: Junior
POSITIONS: Pitcher/third base
LAST WEEK: Picked up two victories, including a shutout, to raise his record to 7-1. Gave up three hits and one earned run with four strikeouts in six innings. Also had four hits, including two doubles, in three games.
OTHER SPORTS: Basketball
FREE TIME: Likes to listen to music and doesn`t care what genre because he likes them all. Also enjoys intramural football, intramural cornhole and swimming.
SUMMER TEAM: North Coast Vipers
FUTURE PLANS: Wants to attend college to study either mathematics or actuarial science (setting insurance rates). He would like to play intercollegiate baseball.
PARENTS: Jim and Judy

Cal Thomay, Lutheran West

CLASS: Junior
POSITIONS: Pitcher/third base
LAST WEEK: Went 9-for-12 with 14 runs batted in, 11 runs scored, four doubles, two triples, a home run and three walks in four games. Raised his batting average from .377 to .446. Pitched a five-inning, two-hit shutout with no walks and four strikeouts.
OTHER SPORTS: Basketball
FREE TIME: Enjoys watching sports on television, playing euchre and playing video games (FIFA soccer is his favorite).
SUMMER TEAM: Independence Blue Devils
FUTURE PLANS: Attend college and major in business, and play varsity baseball if possible.
PARENTS: Mark and Joan