MARTINSBURG — An outstanding pitching performance by sophomore Brandon Orsich in his first start went for naught in the Clearfield Area High School baseball team’s third consecutive one-run loss Wednesday afternoon.
Facing a well-seasoned Central lineup that pounded the ball at a .500 clip and piled up 32 runs in two Mercy Rule victories, Orsich hurled a four-hitter with four strikeouts and two walks, but the Scarlet Dragons eked out a 2-1 win to remain atop the Mountain League at 3-0.
“He did a great job against a pretty potent offense,” Bison coach Sid Lansberry said. “And we played errorless defense with (third baseman) Josh Kennedy making two nice plays in the fifth inning, barely nipping the runners at first, and (center fielder) Sawyer Rowles making two, good over-the-shoulder catches.”
Rowles prevented a big inning by the Scarlet Dragons in the fourth when he robbed Mike Mock after Jay Stern and Bradi Moore had singled. Orsich then issued his free passes to force in what turned out to be the winning run.
The only other inning that Central had a base runner was the second, Moore leading off with a single, stealing two bases and scoring on Nick Hoenstine’s hit.
The Scarlet Dragons, who have lofty expectations with seven starters back from a 15-5 squad that reached the District 6 Class AA semifinals last spring, went down in order four times.
Clearfield couldn’t break through against two Central pitchers though, stranding eight runners.
Aided by a double play in the first inning, winner T.J. Rice breezed into the fourth on a no-no before the Bison threatened via two walks around a single by Curtis Collins.
Rice wiggled off the hook with, thanks to another DP on a line drive, but didn’t escape unscathed in the fifth. Kennedy singled, advanced to third on a balk and a groundout and scored on a wild pitch.
After pinch-hitter Dan Collins walked and Spencer Herrington singled, freshman Josh McKnight relieved and plunked Curtis Collins to load the bases before inducing an inning-ending flyout.
The Bison had the tying run in scoring position again in the sixth and seventh frames, but McKnight chalked up a save with four strikeouts.
Clearfield continues its season-opening road swing at Bellefonte Thursday.
CLEARFIELD — 1
Spencer Herrington 2b 1010, Curtis Collins 2b 3010, Thomas Summers 1b-rf 3000, Brandon Orsich p 0000, Jon Janocko dh 3000, Logan Puit lf 3000, Josh Sorbera c 3000, Josh Kennedy 3b 3110, Zach Timchak rf 1000, Erik Sellers ph-1b 2000, Sawyer Rowles cf 1000, Dan Collins ph 0000, Nate Brady ph 1000. TOTALS: 24 1 3 0.
CENTRAL — 2
Austin Cunningham ss 3000, Alex Hoenstine ss 0000, Ethan Lewis rf 3000, Jay Stern 1b 3110, John Knepp 1b 0000, Bradi Moore lf 3120, Mike Mock 3b 3000, Nick Hoenstine 2b 2011, A.J. Frederick c 2000, T.J. Rice p 0000, Josh McKnight p 0000, Brandon Vollkommer dh 10001, Zach Slagenweit cf 2000. TOTALS: 22 2 4 2.
Score by Innings
Clearfield 000 010 0 – 1 3 0
Central 010 100 x – 2 4 2
E – A. Hoenstine, Stern. DP – Central 2 (Cunningham, N. Hoenstine and Stern; N. Hoenstine and Mock). LOB – Clearfield 8; Central 4. SB – Moore 2, N. Hoenstine.
Clearfield – Orsich 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K.
Central – Rice 4-2/3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 1 K; McKnight 2-1/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K.
HB – McKnight 1 (C. Collins). WP – Rice 1. Balk – Rice 1.
W – Rice. L – Orsich (0-1). Save – McKnight.
|3/25||@ Central||ppd.||0 – 0|
|3/28||@ Huntingdon||6 – 7||0 – 1|
|3/31||@ Bald Eagle Area||ppd.||0 – 1|
|4/01||@ Bald Eagle Area||12 – 13||0 – 2|
|4/02||@ Central||1 – 2||0 – 3|
|4/07||@ Penns Valley|
|4/11||@ Altoona Curve Classic|
|4/12||@ Altoona Curve Classic|
|4/13||@ Altoona Curve Classic|
|4/25||BALD EAGLE AREA|