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Dragons end regular season with wins

It was another difficult week for the Clinton Dragons as they were no-hit on back-to-back nights by Halls.

On Tuesday, the Dragons dropped a 2-0 decision on the road to the Red Devils.

A fine pitching performance by Trey Herrell went by the boards as Halls scored a run in the fourth and added a run in the sixth.

Herrell took the loss as he went six innings and allowed two runs on seven hits.

Clinton’s only baserunners reached via walks and they included Isaiah Murphy, Shea Harber, and Tyler Davis, who walked twice.

“Trey Herrell pitched a heck of a game. If we hit the ball just a little bit, we beat them,” said Matt Byrd, head coach of the Dragons.

On Wednesday, the Dragons had Senior Night and said goodbye to seniors Blake Sherwood and Luke Perez.

The Red Devils spoiled the festivities with a 12-0 win in five innings as Clinton was again held to no hits.

Halls plated a run in the first and added six in the third. They scored four in the fourth and one in the fifth.

Starter Alex Burton suffered the loss as he lasted two and third innings. He allowed six runs on five hits.

The Dragons’ defense did their pitchers no favors as they committed four errors.

“I thought our guys came out and played scared. You can’t do that against good teams,” Byrd said.

The bats came to life for Clinton at Claiborne on Friday night as the Dragons left New Tazewell with a 6-2 win.

The Clinton offense was the model of consistency as they scored one run in every inning but the fourth as they hammered out six runs on six hits. Making the win even more impressive was that they overcame six errors to not only win but hold the Bulldogs to just two runs - both unearned.

Perez went six innings for the win. He scattered six hits and no earned runs in the start. At the plate, he was 1-4 with an RBI.

Sherwood closed out the game, going one inning and allowing one hit and no earned runs. He also went 2-4 with two RBI.

Chase Lockard was 1-2 with an RBI while Zack Webber added an RBI.

Herrell was 1-3 and Shea Harber had an RBI.

“That’s the most hits we’ve had in three weeks. You hit the baseball and good things are going to happen,” Byrd said. “We showed up ready to play.”

On Saturday, the Clinton bats got as hot as the late afternoon sun - when it mattered - as they beat visiting Sweetwater in eight innings by a score of 2-1.

Trailing 1-0 in the sixth, Sherwood led-off with a base hit to right center. Davis then singled to left. Lockard dropped a sacrifice bunt, which moved both runners up a base. Burton entered as a courtesy runner for Sherwood but was thrown out at home on a missed squeeze play. Davis moved to third on the play. Harber then singled to right to score Davis and tie the game.

The Wildcats put together a threat in the seventh but Davis turned a beautiful double play after fielding a grounder, tagging the runner from first and firing to Sherwood at first to retire the hitter.

The Dragons were unable to score in the seventh and the game went into extra innings. Murphy shut Sweetwater down in the top of the inning.

Murphy led-off the Clinton eighth with a base hit and Sherwood stepped up and doubled to left to score Murphy from first. Not only was it a walk-off win for the Dragons, the two-bagger left Sherwood (unofficially) two doubles short of the Clinton career record for doubles, currently held by former Dragons’ standout Brad Kidwell.

For the game, Sherwood was 3-4 with a double and the game winning RBI.

Harber was 1-3 with the game-tying RBI.

Herrell, Davis, Murphy, and Winston Henderson also had hits for the Dragons.

Murphy got the win in relief as he pitched three innings and allowed one hit and no runs.

“We finally got a close to go our way. We had a hard game against Claiborne last night and didn’t get home until almost midnight. I was anxious to see how our guys would respond — they were very tired. We found a way to beat a good Sweetwater team. They won 19 games this year and was runner-up in their district. It was a good win for us,” Byrd said.

Clinton was scheduled to host Campbell County on Tuesday for the play-in game for the district tournament. Should the Dragons advance they will face the number one seed Karns Beavers at Karns on Friday at 8 p.m.