CLOVER — After a slow start to the season, the Clover High School baseball team narrowly missed a playoff berth following Saturday’s 7-4 home win against York.
Though disappointed at missing the playoffs, head coach Darrell VanDyke was upbeat after the season-ending win.
“We finished the season winning six of eight games and played well against York Saturday,” VanDyke said of a game that was moved to Saturday morning because of Friday afternoon rainfall.
VanDyke said all four senior pitchers got to pitch in the York game, with Cameron Sellers getting the win.
“The pitching was good for both teams,” said VanDyke. “York pitcher Ryan Gilbert allowed only three earned runs.”
In addition to the win, Sellers had two hits for Clover.
Corey Parham’s timely two-run double helped seal the victory.
The Blue Eagles’ stellar play the second half of the season included a gut-wrenching loss to a Northwestern team unbeaten in the region entering this week.
Clover led highly-regarded Northwestern 7-2 in the seventh-inning until the Trojans battled back to win on a bases-loaded double in the final inning.
VanDyke said the loss to Northwestern was pivotal.
“Had we beaten Northwestern and Fort Mill lost one more game, we would have been tied for third in the region and headed to the playoffs,” said VanDyke. “We have a great group of kids who responded to the challenge the second half of the season and played together.”
“They care about each other and got along. I am proud of the kids,” he said.
Clover has a solid group returning from this year’s varsity, VanDyke said, and the junior varsity team made a statement.
“Out junior varsity team played well and stopped Nation Ford’s JV winning streak,” he said.
VanDyke, who has coached Clover’s Junior Legion team the past two summers, said he likes what he sees in that determined group.
“The junior legion kids are playing well and the JV team had a good season,” he said. “We’re excited about the future of Clover baseball.”