CLEARFIELD — Central Penn League champion Beech Creek and upstart Murrysville survived the elimination games in Pennsylvania American Legion Region 7 Tournament action at the Lawrence Township Recreation Park Field Tuesday afternoon.
Beech Creek overcame a 4-0 deficit after two innings to oust Bedford 9-7 and Murrysville handed Claysburg its first loss of the tourney, 10-0, in 6½ innings with Anthony Falce hurling a five-hitter.
The championship and a berth in the state tournament at Boyertown next week will be decided Wednesday with Beech Creek going against Murrysville at 11 a.m. and the winner playing Claysburg at approximately 2 p.m.
Bedford (23-7) had Beech Creek (22-6) on the ropes early, but the Crickets fought back after being completely handcuffed by Austin Montgomery for three innings.
They broke through in the scoring column in the fourth without benefit of a hit as a walk, two Bedford errors and a balk gave them two runs.
The fifth-inning was a game-changer as a bases-loaded walk made it 4-3 before Clayton Butler doubled to left center to drive in two runs and Toner Corl followed with a single through the middle for two RBIS and a 7-4 lead.
Bedford, which was runner-up to Claysburg in the Cambria County League, bounced back with a run in the sixth and then knotted the score in the top of the seventh when Montgomery chased home Dylan Downs with a double to deep left center and scored on a bad-hop single by Eric Grace.
The Crickets cashed a bad-hop hit of their own in the bottom of the inning as Chuck Probst stole second, advanced to third on a flyout and easily scored the winning run on Butler’s sacrifice fly to right.
Corl saved the win for Caleb Seyler with two scoreless innings. Seyler shook off a rocky start to give the CPL champs seven innings, giving up seven hits and seven runs, five earned. He fanned seven and walked two.
Murrysville’s Falce came through in a big way for the second time in six days by shutting out the hard-hitting Claysburg nine with the help of a flawless defense that turned two double plays.
Last Thursday, the right-hander pitched a one-hitter in a 3-2 win over Latrobe for Westmoreland County League’s second berth in the regional.
That play-in game was scheduled when Irwin opted not to advance after losing to Unity in the finals of the WCL Playoffs. Irwin had bested Murrysville in a best-of-three semifinal series.
Falce was just as sharp in handing Claysburg only its fourth loss in 30 games, scattering five singles with two strikeouts and two walks.
He set the tone in the first inning, preventing Claysburg from posing a threat despite a walk and a hit. First, he caught Nick Hoenstine straying too far off second base. Then, he picked off Austin McMonagle at first base.
T.J. Swope matched goose eggs with Falce for four innings and should have escaped a two-on, two-out jam in the fifth, but an error led to four unearned runs for Murrysville.
The winners broke it wide open in the sixth with six runs, only two earned, off Luke Eberhart. A misplay on a possible inning-ending double play grounder allowed Murrysville to give Falce the opportunity to make it a Mercy Rule win with three outs in the seventh.
Ryan Grieco and Brett Myers had two hits apiece and Falce chipped in with a two-run single for Murrysville.
BEDFORD — 7
Spencer McInroy ss 4110, Dylan Downs lf 3201, Austin Montgomery p-3b 5231, Eric Grace 1b 5021, Isaac Kline 2b 5110, Travis Hickey rf 3011, Kyle Miller c 4000, Jon Gorman p 0000, Jake Stover 3b-c 4010, Lucas Waugerman cf 4110. TOTALS: 37 7 10 4.
BEECH CREEK — 9
Trapper Kunes cf-2b 4110, Cole Hanley 3b 4110, Chuck Probst ss 3311, Ken Heverly dh-rf 5000, Clayton Butler rf-lf 3213, Toner Corl 2b-p 4022, Ethan McGill c 4000, Bryce Hanley 1b 3110, Drew Nyman lf-cf 4120. TOTALS: 34 9 9 6.
Score by Innings
Bedford 310 001 200 – 7 10 3
Beech Creek 000 250 11x – 9 9 3
E – McInroy, Montgomery, Kline; Butler, Corl, B. Hanley. PB – McGill. DP – Bedford 1 (Kline and Grace); Beech Creek 1 (B. Hanley and Probst). LOB – Bedford 7; Beech Creek 7. 2B – Montgomery, Kline, Hickey, Stover; Butler, Nyman. SF – Hickey; Butler. SB – McInroy, Waugerman; Probst 2.
Bedford – Montgomery 7 IP, 7 H, 8 R, 6 ER, 4 BB, 4 K; Gorman 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K.
Beech Creek – Seyler 7 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 7 K; Corl 2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K.
HB – Seyler 1 (Downs). WP – Seyler 3. Bk – Montgomery 1.
W – Seyler. L – Montgomery. Sv – Corl.
Umpires – Jeff Holter (plate), Dave Urbanick (first base) and Scott Viehdorfer (third base).
* * * * * * * * * *
CLAYSBURG — 0
Ethan Lewis rf 3000, Nick Hoenstine 2b 2010, Austin McMonagle 3b 3010, Jay Stern 1b 3010, Mike Mock ss 3000, Zach Cox c 2000, Daniel Taylor dh 2000, Mike Runk cf 2020, Zach Slagenweit lf 1000. TOTALS: 21 0 5 0.
MURRYSVILLE — 10
John Bondi ss 3200, Ryan Grieco rf-cf 3221, Matt Frey lf-rf 4011, Ben Ramey 2b-3b, Anthony Falce p 3012, Brett Myers 3b 4220, Cody Carlson 2b 0000, Bryce Halleck 1b 2110, Jordan Kestler cf 1000, Harrison Thatcher ph-lf 0200, Matt Hobi c 3101. TOTALS: 25 10 7 6.
Score by Innings
Claysburg 000 000 0 – 0 5 2
Murrysville 000 046 x – 10 7 6
E – Hoenstine 2. PB – Cox 3. DP – Claysburg 1 (Stern unassisted); Murrysville 2 (Falce, Bondi and Halleck; Bondi and Halleck). LOB – Claysburg 2; Murrysville 5. SB – Bondi, Frey. CS – Hoenstine (by Falce); Grieco (by Swope), Runk (by Hobi).
Claysburg – T.J. Swope 5 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 5 K; Luke Eberhart 1/3 IP, 2 H, 6 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K; Cam Strayer 2/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K.
Murrysville – Falce 7 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K.
HB – Swope 1 (Halleck), Eberhart 1 (Grieco). WP – Swope 1. PO – Falce 1 (McMonagle).
W – Falce. L – Swope.
Umpires – Urbanick (plate), Viehdorfer (first base) and Holter (third base).