HYDE – An auspicious varsity mound debut by junior righthander Drew Hipps and timely hitting against up-and-down Hollidaysburg Tuesday at the Bison Sports Complex gave the Clearfield Area High School baseball something to build on for the rugged final two weeks of season.
Hipps hurled a five-hitter with eight strikeouts and every Bison starter had at least one hit in the Central Penn League game that sophomore designated-hitter Tanner St. Clair\’s RBI-single ended with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning.
The 11-1 victory got Clearfield back to the .500 mark at 7-7, 3-6 in the league, while Hollidaysburg fell to 8-7 with 6-5 CPL mark.
\”Hollidaysburg is a quality opponent, so it\’s a big win for us,\” Bison coach Sid Lansberry said. \”To get a complete game out of Drew Hipps in his first start, that\’s huge. That really helps us the rest of the week.
\”I thought he pitched very well. His history has kind of been control, off and on. But he was right on today.\”
Hipps, who logged 90 pitches, went to a three-ball count on only four Golden Tigers and didn\’t walk any of them.
\”He just had good location today,\” added Lansberry, who explained that a tender arm was the reason Hipps had been limited to playing the outfield before Tuesday.
\”He really didn\’t throw over the winter. He played basketball, which is fine. He didn\’t throw until the first week of practice. His arm wasn\’t ready and we just didn\’t want to chance it. I\’m glad we waited, because his arm seems pretty healthy.\”
The Bisons gave Hipps a 3-0 cushion in the third inning against sidewinding curveballer Alex Marchi, who might have fared much better if the Golden Tigers hadn\’t botched a rundown. Jarrin Campman, who had singled through the middle, got trapped between first and second but managed to evade a tag for five throws and then wound up at second on a rare defensive interference call.
Adam Jury legged out a slow roller to short and, with one out, Brandon Evans singled for the game\’s first run. Jury, who was running on the pitch, also raced around to score when the ball got past the Hollidaysburg rightfielder. Kevin Kline followed with a shot that one-hopped the fence in left for a double that plated courtesy runner Wil Bacharach.
Solid two-baggers to right center by Brett Weibley and Jordan Roberts in the fourth produced the only run allowed by Hipps, who earned his chance for a complete game by escaping a fifth-inning jam.
Hollidaysburg, down 3-1, had two runners aboard with one out, but Hipps shut the door by fanning leadoff batter Nate Mills on a 3-2 pitch and inducing Brock Porter to ground into a forceout.
\”Hipps looked like he was a little tired, but he pitched out of it,\” Lansberry said. \”A base hit there makes a big difference.\”
The Bisons then made Hipps\’ job a whole lot easier with a seven-run outburst in the bottom of the frame.
After an infield single by James Zimmerman, Marchi hit Evans and walked Kline to fill the bases. Hipps cracked a single through the left side and Doug Kephart rapped a single just out of third baseman Weibley\’s reach for RBIs and St. Clair lined a two-run single to right to prompt a Hollidaysburg pitching change.
Patrick Ford retired David Ryan, but Campman picked up an RBI when his grounder was throw into the dirt at first base, Jury lined a single to center for another run and Zimmerman knocked in a run with a groundout as Clearfield matched its biggest inning of the season.
\”I liked the clutch hits,\” Lansberry said. \”Tanner had a couple. Jury had a couple. Kyle had a big ht. That big inning, we had three hard shots right in a row with the bases loaded. That\’s what we were lacking early on.\”
St. Clair came through with one more clutch hit in the sixth after Bacharach had walked in a pinch-hit role and advanced to second on a groundout. The senior scored Clearfield\’s 11th run standing up on St. Clair\’s liner to right.
Clearfield will travel to DuBois today for a CPL game and entertain Somerset Friday in a non-league scrap.
In the junior varsity game, the Golden Tigers handed the Bison underclassmen only their third setback in 14 games, 10-8.
HOLLIDAYSBURG — 1
Nate Mills cf 3010, Scott Hammond cf 0000, Brock Porter c 3010, Derek Coppersmith c 0000, Brett Weibley 3b 3110, Andrew Ford 2b-p 0000, Patrick Smith dh 3000, Jordan Roberts 1b 3011, Jake Weibley lf 2000, Alex Marchi p-2b 2000, Neil Schroth 2b 0000, Matt Taylor rf 2000, Tyler Sell rf 0000, Andy Glass ss 2010. TOTALS 23 1 5 1.
CLEARFIELD — 11
Adam Jury c 4121, James Zimmerman 2b 4111, Brandon Evans c 3211, Kyle Kline 3b 3111, Drew Hipps p 3111, Wil Bacharach ph 0100, Doug Kephart cf 4121, Lucas Malloy 1b 0000, Tanner St. Clair dh 4123, David Ryan rf 3010, Jarrin Campman 3211. TOTALS: 31 11 12 10.
Score by Innings
Hollidaysburg 000 100 – 1 5 5
Clearfield 003 051 – 11 12 2
Errors – B. Weibley 3, Ford 1, Taylor 1; Zimmerman, Hipps. DP – Hollidaysburg 1 (B. Weibley and Taylor). LOB – Hollidaysburg 4; Clearfield 6. 2B – B. Weibley, Roberts; Kline. SB – Porter.
Hollidaysburg – Marchi 4 IP (faced 6 batters in 5th) 10 H, 10 R, 8 ER, 1 BB, 1 HB, 3 K; Ford 1-2/3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K.
Clearfield – Hipps 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K.
HB – Marchi 1 (Evans). WP – Ford 1.
W – Hipps (1-0). L – Marchi (1-3).