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West Sacramento News-Ledger

Clemens' Historic Night Brings Smiles

Jul 27, 2023 12:00AM ● By Story and photos by Steven Bryla

Marysville pitcher Dan Clemens (16) throws a pitch in the Drakes 18-4 victory over Dublin on Sunday, July 16 at Bryant Field.

Clemens' Historic Night Brings Smiles [3 Images] Click Any Image To Expand

Drakes Can’t Drop Any More Games

MARYSVILLE, CA (MPG) - A few weeks ago in Castle Rock, Colorado, 55-year-old Dan Clemens was pitching in one of the many adult league baseball teams he plays on during the summer, but on Sunday, July 16, he made history in the Pecos League.

Clemens pitched seven strong innings and picked up his first Pecos League victory for the Marysville Drakes as they clobbered the Dublin Leprechauns 18-4. The biggest consistency Clemens had against Dublin was tossing multiple strikes and keeping the hitters off-balanced.

Clemens and Marysville manager Bill Rogan are former teammates and have been friends for a long time. Rogan called on Clemens a couple times in the last few years to come and pitch for his Pecos League teams in his previous stints in Tucson and Santa Fe.

“Bill has called on me to pitch in the past because I’m a pitcher and not a thrower,” Clemens said.

Clemens explained by pitching, he was in command of the game and realized what pitches were working for him and was able to keep hitters off balanced compared to a thrower where they just try and blow it by hitters to disrupt their timing.

When Clemens isn’t pitching on a mound, he does his daily 9-5 job and has coached high school baseball as a pitching coach through the last few years.

Clemens told the Dispatch that the Drakes have plenty of young talent on the mound and he looks forward to being with Marysville for the rest of their season and connecting with the guys as well as passing off years of knowledge throughout the game.

To add to Clemens’ historic night at Bryant Field, he also got his first Pecos League hit, run batted in (RBI), scored his first run and recorded a strikeout as the oldest player in Pecos League history.

In the 12 hits and four hits he surrendered on the night, Clemens kept up the tempo and avoided big run innings to shut down the Dublin lineup through his 109 pitch outing.

Rogan exemplified and reiterated that Clemens appearance and his presence around the team is to make the team better and also teach the younger guys on the pitching staff things he can’t pass on.

“I wasn’t a pitcher so the stuff I generally say doesn’t resonate, but with Dan as a pitcher, they understand him more and better because he has been in those situations,” Rogan said.

Rogan added that to bring Clemens out he just told him I need a pitcher and asked if he wanted to join and eat some innings for the rest of the season.

The win over Dublin gave the Drakes a winning percentage above .500. Marysville had a nice three day-break as they went on their final road trip from Thursday, July 20 through Saturday, July 22 with a game in Bakersfield on July 20 as they beat the Train Robbers in their final meeting of the season 24-14.

Drakes first baseman Evan Blum, who recently returned from a leg injury had a blowout game as he went 4-for-5 from the plate with seven RBI’s, including a grand slam in the game.

Additionally to Blum, the middle infield duo of second baseman Tomas Moreno and shortstop Alan Alanso contributed seven hits during the game as Moreno went 4-for-5 with a home run and Alonso went 3-for-5 with a double.

Marysville catcher Tyler Carpenter had a huge game at the plate as he also went 4-for-6 with a double.

Drakes starting pitcher Evan Nakagawa got relieved in the third inning as Bakersfield put up 10 runs across the plate before Marysville reliever Mike Stellmack picked up the win with 4.1 innings of work and gave up four hits and four runs in his outing.

The Drakes dropped both games in Lancaster from July 21-22 as they lost 21-4 and 15-12. Marysville lost their first game that they have scored in double-digits since they lost 20-11 on July 2.

Going into competition on July 23, the Drakes had seven games remaining with a 21-22 record, which was four games behind Lancaster for the fourth and final playoff position in the Pacific division although the Lancaster Sound Breakers have two games played less than the Drakes.

The Drakes seven final games are all home and have three against Dublin. The four remaining games were dispersed between Vallejo, San Rafael, Martinez and Lancaster.