CLEARFIELD — As host for the Pennsylvania American Legion Region 7 Baseball Tournament, the Clearfield Post 6 Chiefs will take on Indiana County League champion Blairsville Saturday at 4 p.m. at the Lawrence Township Recreation Park Field.
The Chiefs finished sixth in the competitive Central Penn League and were 1-2 in the loop’s championship tourney for a 10-13 record that includes two forfeit wins.
Right-hander Brandon Orsich, 3-5 with a 3.04 earned run average in 53 innings, and Thomas Summers, 3-3 with a 2.29 ERA in 36-2/3 innings, combined for 14 of the 21 starts and totaled 17 appearances. Orsich recorded eight complete games, while Summers had two.
Manager Sid Lansberry’s Chiefs hit .248 as a team.
Their leading hitters were centerfielder Sawyer Rowles at .344 and second baseman Curt Collins at .328 with 21 hits apiece.
Third baseman-shortstop Cole Kephart posted a .308 average and led the team in runs batted in with 14.
Close behind in average were catcher Josh Sorbera at .290, shortstop Spencer Herrington at .286 and Orsich, who played every infield position and filled the designated hitter or extra hitter role when not on the mound, at .275.
Summers and Rowles trailed Kephart in RBIs with 11 and 10, respectively.
Blairsville checks in at 23-8 after nipping Young Township 1-0 in a winner-take-all playoff to win the Indiana County League regular season crown for the fourth consecutive year and nail down its trip to the regional. The two teams had finished in a dead heat at 15-5.
Blairsville then claimed the ICL Playoffs crown by ousting Punxsutawney in a three-game series and sweeping Indiana 5-2 and 6-4.
Indiana (15-10) will play Central Penn League kingpin Beech Creek (19-5) in the Region 7 opener at 10 a.m. Saturday.
The No. 2-seeeded Crickets made a 4-0 run through the CPL Playoffs with two of those victories over No. 1 seed Mifflin County 7-2 and then 2-1 in the finale.
Mifflin County was 11-3 and Beech Creek 11-4 during the regular season.
The other Region 7 first-round games will pit Westmoreland County League champ Unity (21-6) against Cambria County League runner-up Bedford (21-5) at noon at the Bigler Community Field and Cambria County League champ Claysburg (23-3) against Murrysville (19-8) of the Westmoreland County League at 1 p.m. at the LTRP Field.
Claysburg ruled in the CCL’s South Division at 18-3 and then swept Cernic’s and Patton in best-of-three series before topping Bedford 15-5 for the title, outscoring its opponents 63-15 in the five games.
The Claysburg roster includes several players from the Central High School team that won the Mountain League Championship and was undefeated until losing in the PIAA finals.
Murrysville claimed the final berth in the Region 7 tourney with a 3-2 squeaker over Latrobe in Thursday’s play-in game that was booked because Westmoreland County League runner-up Irwin did not have enough players to field a team at Clearfield.
Unity rallied for three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to edge Irwin 5-4 in the WCL title game after ousting West Hempfield and Latrobe, both in three games.
Irwin had sidelined Murrysville in three games in the semifinals.
During the regular season, Unity and Murrysville were 16-4 while Irwin and Latrobe were 15-5.
The Region 7 tourney will continue daily through Wednesday, with all games at the LTRP Field except for two scheduled at the Bigler Community Field.