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Clevenger’s HR sparks Comets in a rout

Nick sends a message

MILLEDGEVILLE – Nick Clevenger got Newman’s hit parade started, and his teammates followed his lead in a big way.

Clevenger clubbed the Comets’ first home run of the season to send an early message, and Newman rolled to a 12-0 run-rule victory against non-conference
foe Milledgeville on Wednesday

The Comets (4-2) finished with 13 hits in the five-inning game, and scored in each inning.

“There’s always room to improve,” Clevenger said, “but we kind of set the tone this game on how should play.”

With Landen Vesley on base, Clevenger
smacked an 0-2 fastball from Missiles starter Cayde Gusloff deep over the fence in left field to stake the Comets to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. It was into a slight breeze, but had no trouble soaring over the 312-foot sign.

“I was trying to keep my hands back and put the ball in the air,” Clevenger said. “I got it all.”

A throwing error by Gusloff gave Newman two more runs in the first inning, and the rout was on.

Clevenger added a double, drove in three runs and scored two to pace a balanced Newman attack. Brycen Bartel went 3-for-3 with a double, an RBI and a run scored; Luke Olson was 3-for-4 with a double and two runs scored; and Drew Ackman and Travis Williams each had RBI doubles.

Williams (2-1) got the win. He worked 3 2/3 innings, allowed four hits, didn’t walk a batter and struck out four.

“Before the game the coaches told me they hit the ball really well,” Williams said, “so I knew I had to keep the ball down in order to be successful.”

Williams was lifted after throwing 59 pitches, and could pitch again on Saturday against Bureau Valley, if needed.

Ethan Behrens came on in relief of Williams and retired all four batters he faced.

Gusloff (0-2) took the loss for Milledgeville (1-8). He gave up eight runs (five earned), 10 hits and one walk in three innings.

The Missiles’ best chance to score came in the first inning, when Kyle Ottens and Cade Schave hit two-out singles. Williams then struck out Blayne Kappes to end the threat.

Ottens was 2-for-2 to pace a four-hit Milledgeville attack.

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