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Neal throws no-hitter in win over Mustangs

Neal throws no-hitter in win over Mustangs

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Cooper Neal, Clarinda

Clarinda junior Cooper Neal fires a pitch during his five-inning, no-hit performance Thursday, June 17, in a win over Shenandoah. Neal earned first team all-area honors on the summer sports all-area team.

CLARINDA – Clarinda junior Cooper Neal threw a no-hitter over five innings and drove in six runs offensively as the Cardinals earned a 12-0 win over Shenandoah Thursday, June 17.

Neal struck out five and gave up just one walk, breezing through five innings on just 58 pitches. There were three errors behind him that gave the Mustangs some runners, but none could score.

“Cooper has been struggling a little for him with his control of late,” Clarinda head coach Rod Eberly said. “He’s a guy who needs the defense to perform well behind him, but he pitched well and threw a no-hitter.”

The Clarinda bats produced nine hits with Neal accounting for two, both doubles. He also scored a run. Tadyn Brown, Logan Green and Jarod McNeese also had doubles. That’s five extra-base hits for the Cardinals, but they got things going offensively with some small-ball in a five-run third inning to take control of the game.

“We have been struggling with that part of our game,” Eberly said on playing some small ball, “and that has to be a part of how we get on base and create chances with our speed. It was exciting to see us do that.”

McNeese drove in a pair of runs for the Cardinals. Brown scored three runs while Wyatt Schmitt and Jon McCall crossed the plate twice each.

The Cardinals improved to 9-6 on the season and ended a four-game losing streak against Hawkeye 10 Conference competition to get to 6-6 in conference play.

Carter Ruzek nearly reached the pitch limit in just 3 2/3 innings on the mound for Shenandoah. He gave up eight hits, five walks and 12 runs, six earned, with one strikeout. Jade Spangler came on to record the final out of what was a six-run fourth inning.

The Mustangs lost their fourth consecutive game to drop their record to 5-10 overall and 2-9 in the conference.

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