CLEARFIELD – A pair of two-run homers by Noah Rumsky highlighted a 10-hit attack that was just enough to carry the Clearfield Little League 11-and-12 All-Stars to an 11-10 squeaker over visiting Tri-County in their District 5 Northern Tier Tournament opener at McNamee Field Monday evening.
Jeremy Learish and Matt Collins also homered for the winners, who owned an 11-3 lead after three innings but then had to weather a Tri-County comeback to advance into the winner’s bracket final of the double-elimination tourney.
Clearfield will go on the road Friday to take on defending Northern Tier champion Philipsburg-Osceola, which slipped past Four-Leaf Clover 15-13 in the other winner’s bracket semi Monday.
Collins ignited the home team’s offense by lining a home run to right field after Learish led off the bottom of the first inning by drawing a full-count walk.
Rumsky followed with a sharp grounder through the middle for the first of his three hits and Jake Sorbera reached base on an error to put runners on the corners. Rumsky stole home when Sorbera got into a rundown.
Sorbera was able to slide safely into second base and scored moments later when Michael Ternoway drilled a one-out single to center. Ternoway circled the sacks on Eli Glass’ swinging bunt down the third base line, a groundout and an error to give Clearfield a 5-1 start.
Three extra base blows enabled Clearfield to expand the margin to 9-3 in the second inning.
Learish homered to dead center, Rumsky launched his first roundtripper to left after Collins walked and Sorbera tripled and scored on Noah Bloom’s groundout.
Clearfield fans were thinking about a Mercy Rule win when Rumsky rocketed his second homer to center for the eight-run bulge, but Jake Meredith gave the visitors a spark with a two-run homer to left in the fourth inning and they took advantage of walks and misplays to add a singleton in the fifth and four in the sixth, all but one of them unearned.
Sorbera pitched the final four innings to register the win as he and Collins combined for 12 strikeouts and surrendered only four hits but issued 10 walks.
Sorbera, who also hit one batter, defused Tri-County’s sixth-inning rally, aided by two of Clearfield’s six errors, via a run-scoring flyout and a pop-up to short.
Collins was lifted after two hitless frames because of a high pitch count. He fanned five and walked five while giving up three runs, two earned.
Sorbera and Glass had two hits apiece for Clearfield.
Tri-County, which defeated Curwensville 14-1 in four innings in a first-round game Saturday, drops into the elimination bracket quarterfinals and will play at Milesburg Wednesday.
Four-Leaf Clover will host Curwensville in the other elimination bracket quarterfinal Wednesday.
TRI-COUNTY — 10
Tyler Simpson cf 3-2-0-0, Grant King ss-2b-ss-p 3-0-1-1, Jordan Jones 2b-lf-1b 3-1-0-0, Jake Meredith p-ss-3b-ss 2-2-1-2, Brenden Franks 3b 1-1-0-0, Lane Brown ph-rf 1-0-0-0, Ethan Moore rf 3-0-0-0, Jeremy Wenner 2b 0-0-0-0, Parker Mitchell lf-p-3b 3-2-1-1, Adam Mortimer 1b 2-2-1-1, Blake Roberts ph-lf 1-0-0-0, Cory Lehman c 1-0-01, Tom Bucha ph-c 2-0-0-0. TOTALS: 25-10-4-6.
CLEARFIELD — 11
Jeremy Learish lf 3-2-1-1, Matt Collins p-1b 2-3-1-2, Noah Rumsky cf 4-3-3-4, Jake Sorbera c-p 4-2-2-0, Noah Bloom ss-3b 4-0-0-1, Michael Ternoway 1b-2b 3-1-1-1, Eli Glass 3b 2-0-2-0 Matt Ryan ss 1-0-0-0, Alex Coval rf 2-0-0-0, Ethan McGinnis rf 0-0-0-0, Wyatt Porter 2b-c 2-0-0-0. TOTALS: 27-11-10-9.
Score by Innings
Tri-County 120 214 – 10 4 4
Clearfield 542 00x – 11 10 6
Errors – King 2, Jones 2; Collins 2, Ternoway, Coval, McGinnis, Porter. PB – Sorbera 2. DP – Tri-County 1 (Mitchell, Meredith and Jones). LOB – Tri-County 9; Clearfield 9. 3B – Sorbera. HR – Meredith; Learish (1), Collins (1), Rumsky (2). SB – Mortimer; Rumsky.
Tri-County – Meredith 1-2/3 IP, 8 H, 9 R, 7 ER, 2 BB, 0 K; Mitchell 1-1/3 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 0 K; King 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K.
Clearfield – Collins 2 IP, 0 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 5 BB, 5 K; Sorbera 4 IP, 4 H, 7 R, 3 ER, 5 BB, 7 K.
HB – Sorbera 1 (Roberts). WP – Meredith 2, King 1; Collins 4, Sorbera 4.
W – Sorbera (1-0). L- Meredith (0-1).
Umpires – Jay Siegel (plate) and Galen Corl (bases).