MARTINSBURG — Thomas Summers authored a four-hitter, batterymate Josh Sorbera delivered a two-out hit for the first run and right fielder Tommy Hazel made a diving catch that stranded two runners in the bottom of the seventh inning as the Clearfield Area High School baseball team opened the season by upending Central 2-0 Monday afternoon.
“This is a real big win for our program,” Bison coach Sid Lansberry said.
The biggest in several years considering the defending Mountain League and District 6 Class AA champion Scarlet Dragons are coming off a sensational 25-1 season that ended with a loss in the state title game and had ace Mike Mock on the mound.
The hard-throwing right-hander had won 18 consecutive decisions over two years before losing in the PIAA finals. Included was a three-hit shutout at Clearfield last April.
Summers bested the Millersville University recruit on this bitterly cold day, though.
Lansberry labeled it a classic pitcher’s duel.
Facing a lineup that featured four standouts who hit over .400 in 2014, Summers was masterful in going the distance with seven strikeouts.
The senior left-hander issued four walks but also picked off two runners in the bottom of the third inning right after Sorbera had given the Bison a 1-0 edge.
Noah Cline was perched at second base via a forceout and a passed ball when Sorbera came through with his clutch hit, a liner to center field.
The Bison executed a forced balk play for the important insurance run in a wild top of the fourth, Hazel dashing for the plate when Sawyer Rowles broke for second and drew a throw.
Clearfield had the same first-and-third situation minutes earlier when Dan Collins doubled and Hazel singled, but pinch-runner Justin Fedder was out trying to score on a wild pitch.
Hazel moved up to second on the play and stole third on ball four to Rowles.
Central had the tying runs aboard with one out in the bottom of the seventh, but Summers induced a flyout before Hazel’s gem on Hoenstine’s two-out liner to right center capped a flawless defensive performance by the Bison.
Shortstop Spencer Herrington set the tone by robbing leadoff batter Hoenstine in the first frame, ranging far to his left for the grounder headed up the middle.
Summers helped himself in the third when he caught Brandon Ritchey and Mock leaning after they had received free passes.
In the sixth, third baseman Cole Kephart turned Chase Smith’s shot that ricocheted off Summers’ leg into a close out at first.
Mock pitched five innings, allowing four hits and five walks while fanning six.
Jay Stern had two singles for the Scarlet Dragons.
The Bison go back on the road again Thursday to play Huntingdon.
Clearfield’s junior varsity also was victorious, 6-5, with Thayne Morgan picking up the ‘W’ and Zane Morgan driving in two runs. Seth Bumbarger had a double.
CLEARFIELD — 2
Spencer Herrington ss 4000, Josh Sorbera c 4011, Thomas Summers p 4010, Cole Kephart 3b 3011, Dan Collins 1b 3010, Justin Fedder pr 0000,Tommy Hazel rf 3110, Sawyer Rowles cf 2010, Noah Cline 2b 1100, Jonathan Trimpey lf 1000. TOTALS: 25 2 6 1.
CENTRAL — 0
Nick Hoenstine 2b 3000, Mike Mock p-ss 2000, Jay Stern 1b 3020, Chase Smith cf 3000, Josh McKnight 3b-p 2000, Brendon Vollkhommer ss-3b 3000, Cullen Gahagan lf 3010, JM Knepp rf 2000, Bowser rf 0000, Brandon Ritchey c 3010. TOTALS: 24 0 4 0.
Score by Innings
Clearfield 001 100 0 – 2 6 0
Central 000 000 0 – 0 4 1
E – Vollkhommer. PB – Ritchey 1. LOB – Clearfield 8; Central 7. 2B – Kephart, Collins. SB – Hazel, Rowles; Stern.
Clearfield – Summers 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 7 K.
Central – Mock 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 5 BB, 6 K; McKnight 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K.
WP – Mock 1. PO – Summers 2 (Mock, Ritchey).
W – Summers (1-0). L – Mock (0-1).