Blue Devils open with hot bats

By Ray Dimonda Correspondent
Posted 3/2/23

GREEN COVE SPRINGS - After a Thursday 10-0 smack down of the Baker County Wildcats, the unblemished Clay Blue Devils hosted the Episcopal Eagles for a Friday evening baseball showdown where the …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Don't have an ID?

Print subscribers

If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.


Click here to see your options for subscribing.

Single day pass

You also have the option of purchasing 24 hours of access, for $1.00. Click here to purchase a single day pass.

Blue Devils open with hot bats


GREEN COVE SPRINGS - After a Thursday 10-0 smack down of the Baker County Wildcats, the unblemished Clay Blue Devils hosted the Episcopal Eagles for a Friday evening baseball showdown where the Eagles were still looking for that first victory. The Blue Devils used the steam roller technique, coming out early with a two run first inning, and a five run second inning to build and ride a 7-0 lead through the rest of the game to continue their season record flawless and dashing the hopes of the Eagles to finally get a W.

“I just donâ’t like seeing all those zeros,” said Clay Head Coach Josh Persinger, referring to the early two innings of scoring and not racking up more runs. “Last night we had some success over at Baker (County) but it was two, one, two, one (runs). I believe those are the kind of games that will last. You don’t want to do like we did in Keystone where we went up four to nothing, and then found ourselves in a game in the fourth and fifth inning, giving them new life. I always say once your turn it off, you can’t turn it back on, so you have to be careful.”

Persinger was cognizant of the upcoming March 10 game against rival Fleming Island, now with a new coach; Gilbert Morales (see Mike Zima’s story).

“This year’s group, has a lot of new faces,” said Persinger. “Last year we had the same seven, eight, nine guys in the lineup with only one or two returners. It’s exciting and we’re still trying to figure out the different guys in different places, but they are fun. They are scrappy and they have some grit to them which is what I think we can use to go along way with.”

After quickly disposing of the Eagles to start the game, it was time to get the ball rolling early for the Blue Devils as Cole Carnell led off, taking the first pitch to center field for a stand-up double. After one out, Parker Lowrance stepped up, took the first pitch and went yard into left field, hitting the roof of the outbuilding on the softball field with a huge bang for a two run homer, 2-0.

Holding the Eagles to another quick offensive visit, the Blue Devil bats were right back at work in the bottom of the second. Before he could use his bat, Sean Alvers made it to first by getting hit with a pitch. Alvers stole second and used a passed ball to get to third. Carnell grounded out to score Alvers, 3-0.

After a Reef Johnson single, Lowrance poked an RBI line drive to center which scored Johnson, 4-0. Joshua Rouw singled to center and Merrick Rapoza was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Aidan Hampton walked to bring Lowrance home, 5-0. Nick Ranck took advantage of an Eagles error to safely reach first base, and drive both Rouw and Rapoza home for the 7-0 final score.

Clay would load the bases with Alvers, Ranck and Hampton in the bottom of the fourth, and Chase Haggard and Rouw in the fifth without finding a way to bring them around.

Aidan Hampton was the winning pitcher for Clay going four innings with only two hits, two walks, striking out eight. Austin Szala went two innings striking out four and walking two. Joshua Rouw closed up shop for the night in the seventh, striking out two and walking one with 21 pitches.

Discussing the great showing on the hill for Clay, Persinger talked up his closer. “His brother came through and played football and baseball.

As a freshman, you see these kids come in around four foot tall and end up about six feet. Hard worker. He’s a great kid, good in the classroom, changed his body completely. He’s a 500 pound dead lifter now. He’s worked hard for everything he’s got. It’s really cool to watch and see.”


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here