Clippers rally for third


When No. 11 – “Sticks” as he is affectionately called – takes the hill, it is as if Clipper Nation breathes a sigh of relief.

For the past two seasons, Maddox Meyer has confidently worn the title of “ace” for the Malcolm baseball team. The UNO commit showed why in a pair of dominating performances in last week’s Trailblazer Conference Tournament.

No. 1 Malcolm opened tournament play April 9 with a five-inning, 12-0 mercy rule win over Ralston in which Meyer tossed his first no-hitter of the season. The Rams’ only baserunner was Kyle Gushard who reached on a hit-by-pitch in the top of the fourth. Otherwise, Meyer was perfect as he fanned nine Ralston batters.

“When Maddox gets up early in the count, forget about it,” Malcolm coach Zach Wehner said. “That’s when he’s really in command.”

Meyer needed just 56 pitches – 41 of which were strikes – to put away the Rams.

The hot bat of Luke Schmidt paced the Clippers at the plate. The senior catcher drove in four on two home runs. Logan McGreer also homered as Malcolm advanced to the conference semifinals.

Things were different on a windy April 11 day when upset-minded Class B No. 10 Beatrice came to Malcolm. The Orange took advantage of four errors and nine free passes to upend the Clippers, 11-8.

“Our pitchers struggled to find the zone,” Wehner said. “Beatrice did a good job putting the ball in play when we did throw strikes, and we weren’t able to take care of business. We let too many little things bother us instead of flushing the mistakes.”

While Schmidt blasted his fifth home run of the season, the Clippers struggled to hit with men in scoring position as they stranded seven baserunners.

Meyer returned to the mound for the April 13 third-place game at Plattsmouth. The Clippers rode the arm of their ace to a 2-1 complete game victory over Class B No. 7 Wahoo/Bishop Neumann. Meyer improved his season record to 5-0 as he allowed just one hit while striking out nine.

“Maddox has been doing an amazing job getting us outs,” Wehner said. “His defense had his back in that game.”

Meyer also scored the Clippers’ only runs of the game. After a leadoff single in the bottom of the first, he eventually scored on a passed ball. In the bottom of the seventh, Meyer was Malcolm’s walk-off run on a bases-loaded walk that ended the game.

The Clippers (10-2) will host three teams this week. Trailblazer Conference runner-up Plattsmouth (8-3) visits April 15 before Beatrice (10-4) returns April 16.

Malcolm tok care of Plattsmouth 13-3 and held off Beatrice 14-13.

Arlington (4-8) comes to Malcolm Friday, April 19, for a 4:30 p.m. game. The Clippers finish the week at Central City with a Saturday, April 20, triangular against the Kernels (11-3) and Centennial (1-8).

 “This will be a tough week,” Wehner said. “We’ll get to see how deep we really are on the mound. We need to see some of our other pitchers step up and take control of games.”