Audio: Clark closes with a K
Audio: Joaquin finishes off the one-hitter
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Craig Clark knows exactly what he has to do to be successful on the mound. Everything went according to that plan on Saturday night.
Clark pitched 6 2/3 innings to tie a career high and combined with Waldis Joaquin on a one-hitter as the August GreenJackets blanked the Hickory Crawdads, 7-0, at Lake Olmstead Stadium.
The 23-year-old left-hander allowed a leadoff single to Erik Huber in the second and issued a one-out walk to Miles Durham in the fourth. Durham was promptly erased on a double play and turned out to be the last Crawdad to reach base.
Clark (5-0) retired 16 of the final 17 batters he faced, exiting with two outs in the seventh. Of the 20 outs he recorded, 10 were ground balls and four were strikeouts.
"I was just working ahead in the count, keeping the ball down and mixing in the offspeed stuff. You gotta stay low in the zone," he explained. "Once you elevate the ball, that's when you're gonna get knocked around."
Clark knew from the outset that he was going to have a good night.
"I felt good warming up. Everything was working for me, the fastball, slider and changeup," he said. "This was definitely one of the best games I've had. When the offense gets runs for you, it makes it easier."
The Penn State product made 12 starts for Rookie-level Salem-Keizer of the Northwest League in 2007, going 5-3 with a 2.98 ERA. He has a 3.95 ERA in 10 starts this year, holding South Atlantic League opponents to a .247 average.
"Last year, I got away with some mistakes. But it you leave the ball over the middle, it's going to get hit," said Clark, the Giants' 14th-round pick in the 2007 Draft. "I think the hitters are also getting more used to the wood bats at this level. I just want to pitch every game like tonight."
Brock Bond singled, doubled and drove in two runs, while Garrett Baker and Francisco Peguero hit solo homers for Augusta (36-26).
Hickory's Duke Welker (1-3) dropped his second straight start after giving up four runs -- three earned -- on six hits and two walks with one strikeout over four innings.
The loss was the fourth straight for the Crawdads (28-35).
Steve Conley is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.