2023 ONSL Postseason Wrap Up

by Louis DeCarolis

Clovers Finish Runner Up in ONSL Playoffs

The Clovers finished the season with an overall record of 26-21-1 and with an ONSL record of 18-13-1. Entering the playoffs as the #6 seed with only 6 teams getting in, Clayton had the most difficult route to the Championship. If anyone in the ONSL was not aware of the Cloveshow, the league is on notice now. Clayton defeated the 2 teams that competed in the 2022 Championship in the first 2 rounds, Sandhills Bogeys and the Hendersonville Honeycrisps. After that, the storybook ending had the book slammed shut on the Clovers by the Pineville Porcupines. 

In round one Clayton received a dominate pitching performance from Luke Maicon (Junior - Tusculum University) and Shea DeFalco (Sophomore - Guilford Tech CC). Eight Clovers registered a hit in the game and won by a final score of 4-2. Mike Snyder (Senior - Indiana Tech), Zach Lyon (Junior - NC Wesleyan) & Will Orr (Sophomore - Lenoir Community College) had big days at the plate, securing 7 of the 12 Clayton hits. 

In round two, the energy was turned all the way up. Clayton got the win in the first Clovers & Honeycrisps matchup ever by a score of 8-5. The Clovers handled 2023 ONSL Pitcher of the Year with ease giving him his shortest outing, most hits and most runs allowed of the 2023 season. The Clovers used 5 pitchers and the defense was key in the win. Zach Zoltoski (Junior - Mount Olive) was apart of 4 double plays in the game and catcher Alex Levesque (Sophomore - William Peace) nailed a back pick at 2nd base to shift the momentum. Clayton scratched 5 runs across in the 8th and 9th inning and Will Leonard (Junior - Barton College) struck out the side in the 9th to end the game in a dramatic fashion. 

The Championship of the ONSL dubbed as the 'You Can Go Home Now Cup' came down to Pineville Porcupines and the Clayton Clovers. The teams met twice during the regular season and the matchup was split 1-1. Going into the playoffs, Pineville was known as a team with the most dangerous offense with a couple of very talented arms. Clovers dropped game one 8-7 and lost big in game two, 16-5.