Baseball: Clary pitches St. Viator to series win over Carmel

After splitting the first two games of a three-game series, host St. Viator was hoping to win the rubber game against Carmel Catholic Friday afternoon in East Suburban Catholic Conference baseball action.

And the Lions did just that as they used a strong pitching performance by junior J.R. Clary and errorless defense to post a 3-0 victory over the Corsairs.

St. Viator (13-6, 6-2) scored all of the runs it would need against Carmel starter Luke Nichol in the bottom of the first. Brock Harer led off with an infield hit, moved to second on a wild pitch, and scored on a throwing error.

St. Viator's Jeff Beckert reached on that error before scoring on a one-out fielder's choice RBI by Bryan Hatch for a 2-0 lead. The Lions had 3 of their 5 hits in the first inning.

"We've got to cut down on our errors, and that just puts you in a hole," said Carmel coach Scott Anderson, whose team had 6 hits. "It was definitely a pitchers' duel. Their guy attacked the zone, and we just made too many mistakes."

Carmel (7-7, 2-3) fell behind 3-0 in the bottom of the third when Beckert walked with one out, moved to second on a balk, and scored on an RBI single by Brandon Thomsen (2-for-3) to left field.

Clary allowed 1 hit in every inning except for the third as the Lions turned four double plays in the first five innings.

"The defense really picked me up, I really didn't have many strikeouts but I just left it up to the defense behind me," said Clary, who had 3 strikeouts and no walks. "This is my first complete game shutout of the year and this was a huge win in our conference."

Carmel's Medkao Curry (2-for-4) led off with a double and moved to third on a balk in the top of the fourth. But he was thrown out at home on a ground ball to third base before St. Viator got a 6-3 double play on a liner to end the inning.

The Corsairs got a one-out double from Rhett Wolf in the seventh, but he was stranded on second to end the game.

"They got us yesterday (7-5) with a real pivotal game in terms of the way our conference is structured so to take two of three from them was a big game for us," said St. Viator coach Terry Beyna. "J.R. (Clary) did a great job attacking, we got some line drive double plays, and it was just a big win for us."

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