CLACK PIC

Whugray Clack threw a one-hitter for Chester last week in a blowout win over Fairfield Central.

Practice didn’t make perfect for Chester Saturday but it came pretty close.

For the first time in recent memory, Chester beat rival Fairfield Central on the 10-run rule, riding a balanced night at the plate and a one-hitter from pitcher Whugray Clack to a 10-0 victory in five innings.

The contest looked like pitching duel for the first two innings between Clack and Fairfield Central’s Ryland Woodard. Chester got runners aboard via one walk and one single, but couldn’t get them home as tWoodard’s quick delivery and effective changeup kept the Cyclones off balance. The Griffins managed only one hit, that being a second-inning double by Cialen Gadson. Chester Coach Logan Pemberton said the infield should’ve been out on the play and that Clack would’ve had a no-hitter if they had been.

Chester’s offense finally got dialed in to start the third inning and actually got a jump-start from some Griffin miscues. Landon Hoyle reached base to start the inning when a throw narrowly pulled the foot of Fairfield Central’s first baseman off the bag. Lane Sullivan reached on a dropped fly ball, then Kian Kennedy roped a triple down the line to bring both runners home. Deontrea Johnson came up with a run-scoring single and Chester took a 3-0 lead.

Kody Hall led off the fourth with a double and Wade Alley followed with a single for Chester. Riley Darby loaded the bases with a walk, then Sullivan drew a walk to force in a run. Kennedy came up big again for the Cycs, delivering a clutch two-run single to pace Chester to a 6-0 lead.

The Cyclones ended the game in the fifth. Two walks and an error brought one run home, Hoyle drove in one with a single, then hits from Darby and Kennedy got the score to 10-0, at which point it was called on the mercy rule.

Pemberton said his team “really got after it in practice” the previous few days and said something clicked for his team during that time. Lots of guys had good night at the plate, with Pemberton citing Kennedy in particular who had three hits and drove in five runs. He said he was happy for his seniors, who recorded their second-ever win over Fairfield Central and one senior in particular had a big hand in that accomplishment. Clack struck out seven, walked only one and threw 40 strikes in 57 pitches.

“We’re still learning as a team, but I tell my pitchers all the time that if they just throw strikes, we’ll be in it,” Pemberton said.

He also had high praise for assistant coaches Larry Reynolds and Tyler Jordan, who he called “the best staff in the state” and who he said had really helped the team improve.

Chester is 5-4-1 overall and in second place in the region with the win. The Cyclones are off next week, but Pemberton welcomed that since he said it would afford his team the chance to get in some more good practices and continue to get better.

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