HYDE — The Clearfield Area High School baseball team will have to play a nearly perfect game to top its performance in Friday\’s home opener at the Bison Sports Complex.
Excelling in all three phases of the game, the Bisons disposed of Lewistown 14-1 in just four and a half innings, balancing their record at 1-1 in their first Central Penn League outing.
Senior righthander Brandon Evans fashioned a two-hitter with five strikeouts. James Zimmerman drove in four runs with two hits, while Evans and Doug Kephart had two hits and three RBIs apiece to pace a nine-hit attack. And the Bisons were flawless in the field.
\”Brandon pitched a great game, we hit the ball pretty well and had clutch hits, and we made some good plays defensively,\” veteran coach Sid Lansberry said. \”If you do that, you\’re gonna win. I\’m pretty pleased.\”
Evans walked one and faced only 17 batters, two over the minimum. Andrew Moist belted a towering home run over the left center fence in the second inning for Lewistown\’s lone run. Evans protected a 2-1 lead with two strikeouts and went on to complete his strong effort by retiring nine of the last 10 batters he saw. Alex Haines socked a two-out double in the third inning, but Evans promptly picked him off second base.
\”That\’s one of the best games he\’s pitched,\” Lansberry said of his ace hurler. \”He mixed his pitches well and had good location. Early on, he was up a little bit, but he adjusted. That\’s the first time he\’s thrown off that mound this year. It\’s been too soft. We haven\’t been able to use it at all.\”
The Bisons scored at least two runs every inning as they cashed all eight walks issued by three Lewistown hurlers.
With two down in the first, Panther starter Ray Klinger walked Evans and Kyle Kline and uncorked a wild pitch. Kephart made him pay by bouncing a single up the middle just out of shortstop Elliot Searer\’s reach for two runs.
\”That\’s a big hit,\” Lansberry said. \”We had a lot of two-out scoring.\”
In fact, all but one of Clearfield\’s runs came with two outs.
Klinger got in trouble in the second when he hit Jarrin Campman and walked Zimmerman. Adam Jury ripped a two-out double to left for an RBI, and Zimmerman scored when Evans\’ grounder was booted, making it 4-1.
In the third frame, Kephart touched off a three-run rally with a hard grounder into right. Drew Hipps walked, and both runners advanced on Andrew Janocko\’s sacrifice bunt. Campman chased home Kephart with a sacrifice fly to center. Tyler Kirkwood walked before Zimmerman whacked a double to deep right center for two RBIs.
David Bender replaced Klinger in the fourth inning, and Evans greeted him with a line single to center. After Kline hammered a two-bagger off the fence in right center, Kephart and Hipps picked up RBIs with a groundout and a line single, respectively. Two more walks resulted in another pitching change, and Mike Kilmer immediately logged a strikeout. But he couldn\’t get the all-important third out before the Bisons had more than enough runs to shorten the game via the Mercy Rule.
Zimmerman sliced a single to right for two runs and, after Jury walked to load the bases again, Evans capped the uprising he started by crushing a double to left center that cleared the sacks.
Several of Clearfield\’s outs were hard shots, including one Zimmerman scorched right at leftfielder Sean Heckert in his first at-bat.
\”He smoked that ball,\” Lansberry said. \”That might have been the hardest hit ball of the day. It got out there in a hurry. Zimmy had two important hits, and Evans had a big hit. I think we should have a pretty decent hitting lineup this year, but you never know. Their coach said they were a little shorthanded today. This is their third game of the week, so I don\’t think we saw their best pitching.\”
The Panthers, who lost 9-0 to Punxsutawney Tuesday and beat Penns Valley 6-2 Thursday, are 1-2, 0-2 in the CPL.
They couldn\’t catch any breaks, either. Kephart made a lunging catch in short center to rob Zac Hesketh of a hit and Lewistown a run in the first inning. When Nick Beamenderfer\’s hard grounder to short glanced off Jury\’s glove in the fourth, the ball caromed to second baseman Zimmerman, whose throw to first nipped the Panther runner. And David Ryan in left and Janocko in right made difficult, running grabs of fly balls in the seventh.
\”I was pleased with our inner defense, too,\” Lansberry said.
The Bisons will host Bellefonte (2-0, 1-0) Saturday at noon in the makeup of Tuesday\’s postponement.
Clearfield won the junior varsity game 4-1. Corey Bookhamer was the winning pitcher, striking out three, while Parker Herrington singled and doubled and Justin Hoffman singled twice.
LEWISTOWN — 1
Elliott Searer ss 2000, Alex Haines rf 2010, Casey Zimmerman cf 1000, Zac Hesketh 1b 2000, Nick Beamenderfer 2b 2000, Andrew Moist 3b 2111, Ray Klinger p 1000, David Bender p 0000, Mike Kilmer p 0000, Adam Peachey ph 1000, Ryan Goss c 1000, Wade Fagan ph 1000, Sean Heckert lf 1000. Totals: 16 1 2 1.
CLEARFIELD – 14
James Zimmerman 2b 3224, Adam Jury ss 3111, Brandon Evans p 3223, Wil Bacharach cr 0000, Kyle Kline 3b 3210, Doug Kephart cf 3123, Drew Hipps lf 2211, David Ryan lf 0000, Andrew Janocko rf 1100, Lucas Malloy 1b 0000, Jarrin Campman dh 0201, Tyler Kirkwood c 1100, David Welker cr, Alex Billotte ph 1000. Totals: 20 14 9 13.
Score by Innings:
Lewistown 010 00 — 1 2 1
Clearfield 223 7x — 14 9 0
Error – Searer. LOB – Lewistown 1; Clearfield 5. 2B – Haines; Zimmerman, Jury, Evans, Hipps. HR – Moist. Sac – Janocko. SF – Campman. SB – Zimmerman; Bacharach, Kephart.
Lewistown – Klinger 3 IP, 4 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 5 BB, 0 K; Bender 1/3 IP, 3 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 0 K; Kilmer 2/3 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 K.
Clearfield – Evans 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K.
HB – Klinger 1 (Campman).
W – Evans (1-1). L – Klinger (0-1).