WAVERLY -- The Clear Lake and Charles City baseball teams had similar season in 2019.
Both teams were around .500 during the regular season, but both teams could have had far better records because of several tough losses.
On Friday, the two teams met at Wartburg College in Waverly for a Class 3A substate opener.
With two closely-matched teams, the outcome was almost certainly going to be as a result of one team excelling in one particular aspect of the game, and at the end, that is exactly what happened in a 12-6 Comets win.
Both teams hit the ball well, particularly early in the contest, and both scored in each of its first three innings.
One number stood out on the scoreboard, though, and that was the fact the Charles City committed no errors in the ball game.
“We don’t give extra outs,” Comets coach Tyler Downing said. “We have committed two errors in our last nine games.
Charles City scored three runs in the first, four in the second and five in the third.
While a Jace Cajthaml three-run homer accounted for the first inning, several of the Comets’ runs in the second and third innings were as a result of some shake fielding on the part of the Lions.
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With so much scoring early, both team turned to their bullpens relatively early in the game, and in both cases, the new pitchers contained the opposing batters.
Carter Johanningmeier took over in the second inning and wound up getting the win for Charles City.
Mac Adams took over for Clear Lake and shut out the Comets over their final three at bats.
Andrew Formanek was key to the Lion offense with two doubles and a pair of runs batted in.
EriK McHenry doubled, singled and drove in one for Clear Lake.
Charles City advances to Monday’s substate final with an overall record of 17-16.
“A three-game winning streak in July is what you want,” Downing said. “We have been putting the pieces together throughout the year.”
Clear Lake completed its season with a 15-15 record.