PUNXSUTAWNEY – Behind Sean Smith\’s third solid pitching performance against Clearfield in five weeks, Punxsutawney forced an extra game for the Jefferson County Legion League Playoffs championship with a 7-4 win over the Chiefs at Rich Kuntz Memorial Field Tuesday evening.
The title and a berth in the Region 7 Tournament, which starts Saturday at Bellefonte, will be at stake Wednesday when the two teams meet for the seventh time this season. Game time will be 5:30 p.m.
Smith tamed a Clearfield (17-13) lineup that had piled up 30 runs in two playoff games as Punxsy (18-6) upped its record to 3-0 in elimination games since being ambushed by the Chiefs 12-5 on July 16.
Clearfield\’s runs came on Adam Jury\’s two-run double in the first inning and James Zimmermann\’s two-run homer in the eighth.
Singles by Parker Herrington and Kyle Kline chased Smith in the ninth, and the Chiefs got the tying run on base when Jarrin Campman drew a two-out walk, but reliever Dylan Kachmar wound up with the save when left fielder Nick Pascuzzo tracked down Zimmermann\’s liner.
\”Smith was the right guy to pitch against us,\” Post 6 manager Sid Lansberry conceded. \”He has a good curve, changes speeds and locates the ball real well. He doesn\’t strike anybody out, but he doesn\’t walk anybody. He gets ground balls and fly balls.
\”Even though we had 10 hits, we didn\’t get enough of them in key situations.
\”And Punxsy plays good defense. They had seven errors in the game we beat them (last week), but that was uncharacteristic.\”
Clearfield had Smith on the ropes in the first. After Jury drove in Campman and Zimmermann, Justin Hoffman singled to put runners on the corners with nobody out.
However, the Punxsy hurler wiggled out of the jam with his only strikeout and a double play on Herrington\’s shot to second baseman Zach Smith.
\”Another base hit there and he\’s in trouble,\” Lansberry said. \”Then he settled down.\”
Clearfield never had more than one baserunner in the next six innings, and none of the four reached second. The Chiefs were down 7-2 when Zimmermann unloaded his fifth homer of the season in the eighth.
Loser Michael Moyer, who bested Smith in a 4-0 mound duel on June 18, struggled through his roughest start of the year for the Chiefs. He logged 92 pitches in four innings, walking six and giving up eight hits and all of the winners\’ runs.
The hosts made it 2-2 in the second on Nick Gillung\’s double, Chad Davis\’ RBI-single, two stolen bases and a wild pitch.
A pair of two-out walks and Dakota Bish\’s single produced the go-ahead run in the third.
John J. Fisher Post 62 added its other runs in the fourth, two on RBI-singles by Tommy Bush and Gillung and two on passed balls.
Because of a rain delay in the middle of the fifth inning, Corey Bookhamer relieved Moyer and pitched four shutout innings of no-hit ball, but Clearfield couldn\’t put any pressure on Smith until Zimmermann\’s late homer.
In 20 innings against Smith, the Chiefs struck out just six times and managed to record 24 hits and 12 runs.
But in his trio of starts, Clearfield scored only three runs prior to the sixth inning.
CLEARFIELD — 4
Jarrin Campman cf-rf 3210, James Zimmermann 2b 5232, Adam Jury ss 4012, Justin Hoffman dh 4010, Michael Moyer p 0000, Corey Bookhamer p 0000, Derek Danver 3b 4010, Parker Herrington lf 4020, Kyle Kline 1b 4010, Aaron Sayers rf 3000, David Ryan cf 1000, Matt Lonjin c 2000, Tanner St. Clair ph 1000, Kyle Timchak ph 1000. TOTALS: 36 4 10 4.
PUNXSUTAWNEY — 7
Dane Kopas rf 4100, Zach Smith 2b 4120, Tommy Bush 3b 5121, Jacob Stumpf cf 3100, Nick Gillung 1b 4121, Austin Furman dh 3100, Sean Smith p 0000, Dylan Kachmar p 0000, Chad Davis ss 3111, Dakota Bish c 3011, Nick Pascuzzo lf 3020, Tyler Wingard ph 0000. TOTALS: 32 7 10 4.
Score by Innings
Clearfield 200 000 020 – 4 10 1
Punxsutawney 021 400 00x – 7 10 1
Errors – Danver; Bush. PB – Lonjin 2. DP – Clearfield (Moyer, Jury and Kline); Punxsutawney 2 (Z. Smith and Gillung; Bush, Z. Smith and Gillung). LOB – Clearfield 7; Punxsutawney 9. 2B – Jury; Gillung. HR – Zimmerman (5). SB – Stumpf, Furman, Davis 2, Wingard.
Clearfield – Moyer 4 IP, 10 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 6 BB, 3 K; Bookhamer 4 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K.
Punxsutawney – S. Smith 8+ IP (faced 2 batters in 9th), 10 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 K; Kachmar 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K.
WP – Moyer.
W – S. Smith. L – Moyer (6-2). Save – Kachmar.