CLARION — Sophomore infielder Derek Danver (Clearfield) and junior pitcher Ben McGary (Curwensville) closed what had been a very disappointing season for Clarion (4-40) on a high note as the Golden Eagles won three of four games from Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference West Division rival Lock Haven last weekend.
Danver cracked six hits, including one double, drove in two runs and scored three runs in the victories, 7-3 at Lock Haven Friday and 4-2 and 6-3 in the season-ending doubleheader at Memorial Field Saturday.
McGary hurled his sixth complete game in 10 starts to earn his second win in Saturday’s opener. The left-hander limited the Bald Eagles to five hits while striking out four, walking two and hitting one.
McGary notched two of Clarion’s four wins in 10 decisions and topped the Golden Eagles in innings pitched (54) and strikeouts (28).
He walked 24 and gave up 68 hits and 51, of which 35 were earned for a 5.80 earned run average, second best on the team.
Danver appeared in 36 games, all but one as a starter in the middle infield or as the designated hitter, and finished with a .234 average after dipping to .190 with two weeks left in the season.
He was second in runs scored with 10, third in RBIs with seven and fifth in hits with 22, including three doubles and one of the Golden Eagles’ four home runs.
Danver received only two walks but was hit by a pitch a team-high eight times.
Sophomore infielder Brett Sutika (Grampian/Curwensville Area H.S.) hit .143 (6-for-42) in 21 games with 13 starts. He had one double and two RBIs.
Clarion finished 4-20 in the PSAC-West.
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ERIE — Junior Chad Zurat (Clearfield) was unable to record a save but did pick up the win as Penn State Behrend (26-10) defeated Bethany (W.Va.) 5-4 in non-conference action at Behrend Field Saturday.
The right-handed closer relieved starter Dante DeSantis (DuBois/DuBois Central Catholic) in the sixth inning and surrendered the tying run on two hits around a sacrifice and wild pitch.
Zurat prevented further damage with two strikeouts, worked a 1-2-3 seventh and was rewarded with his third win in four decisions when the Lions scored in the bottom of the inning.
With the Penn State Behrend coaching staff looking ahead to this weekend’s Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference Championship Tournament, five pitchers were handed the ball in a 5-4 non-conference loss to Washington & Jefferson Sunday, and senior right-hander Mike Moyer (Clearfield) made his first relief appearance of the season.
He pitched the ninth inning and struck out one of the three batters he faced.
Moyer, who has made five starts, is 3-0 with a 2.25 earned run average for 24 innings pitched. He has allowed 19 hits and registered 20 strikeouts and 15 walks.
Zurat has appeared in 12 games with a 2.57 ERA for 21 innings. He has fanned 29, walked only seven and surrendered 16 hits.
His five saves are tied for second in the AMCC, and he ranks second in games finished (11) and third in relief appearances (12).
Penn State Behrend, the regular season champion, will host No. 2 seed La Roche (27-11), No. 3 Mount Aloysius (25-14) and No. 5 Pitt-Greensburg (18-21) in the AMCC Final Four Thursday through Saturday.
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BRADFORD — Junior outfielder Sam Gardner (Curwensville) socked five hits and drove in four runs in five games he played for Pitt-Bradford (14-19) last week.
He was 4-for-7 with three RBIs in the Panthers’ 8-0 and 8-3 sweep of D’Youville (N.Y.) on April 29 that clinched fourth place in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference and home-field advantage for the first round of the playoffs.
Unfortunately, the Panthers weren’t able to survive Saturday’s best-of-three series with Pitt-Greensburg at the Kessel Athletic Complex, losing 4-3 and 11-2.
Gardner also singled, drove in a run and scored two runs in a 14-10 non-conference win over Juniata on May 1.
He has played in 25 games, starting 22, and owns the third-highest batting average on the team at .308 (20-for-65).
Gardner, fifth in runs scored, has four doubles and seven RBIs.
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UNIVERSITY PARK — Penn State junior Gwenn Porter (Clearfield) placed eighth among 10 runners in the 1,500-meter race at the Jim Thorpe Invitational on the Nittany Lion Track Friday.
Her time was 5:03.44.