STATE COLLEGE – Clearfield did its best to prevent State College from winning the Central Penn League title outright Friday, but the Little Lions scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to pull out a 7-6 thriller in schoolboy action at Community Park.
State College, which started 1-3 in the league, would have shared the championship with Bald Eagle Area and Bellefonte had it not overcome Clearfield\’s gutsy upset bid for its ninth consecutive CPL victory. The Eagles and Red Raiders finished one game back at 9-4.
Coach Sid Lansberry couldn\’t have asked for more from his Bisons, especially pitcher Doug Kephart. The seldom-used senior righthander responded with a strong performance in his first start of the season, though he was tagged with the defeat.
\”Kephart pitched his heart out,\” Lansberry said. \”He pitched a great game, and we played good defense. David Ryan made several nice catches in centerfield.\”
Adam Jury\’s double and a throwing error on Brandon Evans\’ infield hit got the Bisons on the scoreboard in the first inning, but the Bisons\’ lone miscue resulted in two unearned runs by the Little Lions in the bottom of the frame. Tyler Mincemoyer, who had three hits and four runs batted in, singled for a 2-1 lead.
A run-scoring triple by Drew Yukelson hiked State\’s lead to 3-1 in the second.
Clearfield knotted the count in the third on Kyle Kline\’s two-run single and went ahead 5-3 in the fifth on Tanner St. Clair\’s two-out, two-run single.
Mincemoyer singled home Doug Suhey in the bottom of the fifth, but an error on Andrew Janocko\’s grounder, a sacrifice by Ryan and a double by Jury set the score at 6-4 going to the seventh.
Phil Horne ignited State\’s winning rally with a single through the left side on a 3-2 count, and Yukelson singled to shallow right. After Kephart hit Suhey to load the bases, Lansbery elected to call on Jury to pitch in relief.
However, two walks forced in the tying runs, and, with the Bison infield pulled in for a possible force at the plate, Brendan Pifer ended the game with a hard-hit single up the middle that glanced off second baseman Jarrin Campman\’s glove.
\”I think Kephart got a little tired in the last inning, and we didn\’t really have another pitcher with Janocko pitching tomorrow (Saturday),\” Lansberry said. \”Jury came in and threw hard. He was just missing. If had had thrown strikes, I don\’t think they would have hit the ball. And Jarrin really didn\’t have a play on the last hit.
\”We played a solid game. It was a really good effort by our kids. It just didn\’t turn out the way we\’d hoped. State is a good team. It\’s hard to keep them down.\”
Clearfield completed CPL play 4-9 and will take an 8-11 record into its regular-season finale against St. Marys Saturday at noon at the Bison Sports Complex. The Bisons will play Punxsutawney in the District 9 Class AAA title game on May 30.
Austin Borden pitched a complete game for his fifth win in six decisions for State College, which is 14-5 overall and the top seed for the District 9 Class AAAA Playoffs.
CLEARFIELD — 6
Adam Jury ss-p 4121, Wil Bacharach pr 0000, James Zimmerman 2b-ss 4220, Kyle Kline 3b 3112, Brandon Evans c 3010, Doug Kephart p 4000, Lucas Malloy 1b 0000, Tanner St. Clair lf 3022, Corey Bookhamer 1b 0000, Jarrin Campman dh-2b 3000, Andrew Janocko rf 2100, David Ryan cf 2110. TOTALS: 28 6 9 5.
STATE COLLEGE — 7
Phil Horne cf 4110, Drew Yukelson rf 4221, Doug Suhey ss 3210, Austin Borden p 3111, Tyler Mincemoyer 3b 3034, Chad White c 0000, Brendan Pifer dh 4031, Brook Hart 1b 2000, Ken Farnsworth lf 2110, Travis Tice 2b 2000, Dan Saindberg ph 1000. TOTALS: 28 7 12 7.
Score by Innings:
Clearfield 102 021 0 – 6 9 1
State College 210 010 3 – 7 12 2
Errors – Jury; Suhey 2. LOB – Clearfield 7; State College 8. 2B – Jury 2. 3B – Yukelson, Pifer. Sac – Evans, Campman, Ryan. SB – Suhey, Borden.
Clearfield – Kephart 6+ IP (faced 3 batters in 7th ), 11 H, 7 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 1 K; Jury (faced 3 batters in 7th) 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 0 K.
State College – Borden 7 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 10 K.
HB – Kephart 1 (Suhey). WP – Borden 1.
W – Borden (5-1). L – Kephart (0-1).