Beech Creek, Two District 31 Teams Win Region 7 Openers

CLEARFIELD — Central Penn League champion Beech Creek, seeking a third consecutive Pennsylvania American Legion Region 7 Tournament title, and the two Westmoreland County representatives, Bushy Run and Hempfield East, registered hard-earned victories in the first round of Division I action Saturday.

Wyatt Koch blasted a towering home run over the Bison Sports Complex left center field after Asher Corl singled to give Beech Creek (16-2) a 7-6 win over Jefferson County League titlist Brookville/Punxsutawney (12-4) at the Clearfield Area High School.

The Crickets had trailed 2-1 after one frame, 4-2 after three and 6-3 after five before Evan Prough got them close with a clutch two-out, two-run, bad-hop triple in the bottom of the sixth.

Prough and Mitch Smith had two singles apiece for the Crickets, who were out-hit 12-7.

Trevor Hanna worked six innings in relief of Toner Corl to notch the win, giving up six hits and walking one but allowing only two runs. He struck out two.

For Brookville/Punxsutawney, Ben Caun had a two-run single in the third inning and Dipietro had a two-run double in the fifth.

Every starter had at least one hit, with Burkett collecting three singles and Lance Pennington adding a pair.

Beech Creek draws Bushy Run in the 5 p.m. winner’s bracket semifinal game that caps a tripleheader at the Lawrence Township Recreation Park Sunday, while Brookville/Punxsutawney will return to the BSC for a 2 p.m. elimination game against Bedford.

Brookville/Punxsutawney  202  020  000 – 6  12  2
Beech Creek                        101  102  20x – 7    7  1
WP – Trevor Hanna (6 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K), in relief of Toner Corl (3 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 K).
LP – Lucas Burkett (2 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1 HB, 1 K), in relief of Aaron Park (2+ IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB,1 HB, 0 K) and Joey Dipietro (3-1/3 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 HB, 0 1 K) and followed by Lance Pennington (2/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K).

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District 31 (Westmoreland County) kingpin Bushy Run (21-3) built a 7-1 lead through five innings and then held off Cambria County League runner-up Bedford 8-5 at the LTRP Field.

Keying the early charge by Bushy Run were Alex Olesko with two hits and three RBIs, including a two-run homer to left center in the fourth inning, and Hunter DeStefano with a pair of RBIs.

Rob Buck and Travis Hoffman also had two hits for the winners, one of Hoffman’s a run-scoring double for the final run in the sixth inning.

Jake Cherry struck the big blow for the Hurricanes (21-5), depositing a high-arching three-run homer, his second hit, just inside the left field foul pole in the sixth to slice their deficit to 7-5.

Reece Waugerman and Austin Price each had a double and an RBI for Bedford.

Colin Pratt, the second of four Bushy Run pitchers, got the win with two innings of scoreless, two-hit work, and left-hander Joe Pipak earned a save by blanking the Hurricanes for 3-1/3 innings after Cherry’s homer. He struck out two and gave up only one hit.

Bedford      100  004  000 – 5   7  5
Bushy Run 032  201  00x – 8  11  5
WP – Colin Pratt (2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 1 K), in relief of Nick Lagnese (3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 1 K) and followed by Jake Santo (1/3 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K) and Joe Pipak (3-1/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K). Save – Pipak.
LP – Robert Hernandez (3 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 2 K), relieved by Chas Fatula (2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 HB, 0 K) and Jared Colledge (3 IP,2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K).

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An outstanding diving catch by center fielder Timothy Rosenberg with one out in the ninth inning saved the day for Hempfield East (19-4) at the LTRP.

The District 31 runner-up had seen a 6-1 bulge turn into a 6-5 squeaker against Cambria County League champion Claysburg (24-2) when Rosenberg grabbed Chase Smith’s sinking liner with speedy Alex Hoenstine on second base in the top of the ninth inning.

Garrett Stevenson then came on to induce a game-ending groundout and save the win for Rosenberg, who had pitched 3-1/3 scoreless innings in relief of starter Zayne Zalich.

Hempfield East made the most of six hits, including a solo home run by Hunter Eperesi, a run-scoring double by Rosenberg and an RBI triple by Stevenson.

Casey Winter drove in three runs with a pair of singles for Claysburg, while Ryan Leonard tripled and Hoenstine doubled.

Claysburg will attempt to rebound against Indiana County League representative Blairsville (10-7) at 11 a.m. and Hempfield East takes on Clearfield in a winner’s bracket semifinal at 2 p.m. Sunday at the LTRP.

Claysburg            000  100  040 – 5  7  4
Hempfield East   100  031  10x – 6  6  3
WP – Timothy Rosenberg (3-1/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 HB, 2 K), in relief of Zayne Zalich (3+ IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K) and followed by Shane Stuchell (1-1/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K), Branson Auckerman (1-1/3 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K) and Garrett Stevenson (1/3 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K). Save – Stuchell.
LP – Aden McMonagle (1 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K), in relief of Josh McKnight (4 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 1 HB, 4 K) and followed by Dakota Chamberlain (3 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K).

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