PUNXSUTAWNEY – Nick Gillung turned in a quality start on the mound and drove in five runs with a trio of extra base hits to lead Punxsutawney past Clearfield 10-3 in the Jefferson County Legion League Playoffs championship game at Rich Kuntz Memorial Field Wednesday evening.
The 6-1, 175-pound left-hander scattered eight singles over seven innings and enjoyed a perfect night at the plate with four of Punxsy\’s 14 hits off three Clearfield hurlers.
\”He was the stud tonight,\” manager Sid Lansberry said after his Post 6 Chiefs dropped their second game to Punxsy in as many nights following a 2-0 start in the double-elimination tourney. \”He stepped up and did the job both ways.
\”That\’s three years in a row he ended our season.\”
In his two seasons as the ace of the Punxsutawney Area High School staff, Gillung pitched the Chucks to 5-2 and 4-0 wins over the Clearfield Bisons in District 9 Class AAA title games. The 2007 gem was a no-hitter.
At Mercyhurst College this year, Gillung was 2-0 with a 2.11 earned run average in 21.1 innings, holding the opposition to a .228 batting average.
Three players accounted for all but one of the Chiefs\’ hits, Jarrin Campman with three and James Zimmermann and Tanner St. Clair with two apiece.
\”For Gillung being a college pitcher, I thought we hit the ball pretty well,\” Lansberry said. \”We put the ball in play and hit some hard line drives. He only had three strikeouts.\”
Gillung issued five walks, three to Adam Jury, and constantly was working from the stretch, but his infielders turned a pair of doubleplays as the Chiefs wound up stranding 10 runners.
Clearfield got a two-run single to right field by Campman in the second inning and an RBI-single to center by St. Clair in the seventh. Both line drives came with two outs.
Parker Herrington was tagged with the loss, though all five runs he allowed in three innings were unearned.
An infield miscue opened the door for the hosts in the first frame. With two outs, Gillung belted a two-run double over Campman\’s head in center field and later scored on Austin Furman\’s single. Furman headed for second on the throw home and moved to third on a throwing error. He tallied Punxsy\’s fourth run on a wild pitch.
In the third inning, Jacob Stumpf singled and raced all the way home when Gillung\’s infield single was thrown away at first base.
Corey Bookhamer, who pitched four hitless innings Wednesday night, relieved and kept the John J. Fisher Post 62 team in check for three innings, giving up a one run in the fifth when Stumpf singled and Gillung doubled.
Punxsy got to him in the seventh, the big blow a two-run homer to left center by Gillung that made it 8-3. After Furman beat out an infield hit, Lansberry summoned Justin Hoffman, and the winners tacked on two more runs on Tyler Wingard\’s single and Nick Pascuzzo\’s suicide squeeze bunt.
Tommy Bush took over for Gillung and pitched two perfect innings to lock up Punxsy\’s fourth win since a 12-5 loss to Clearfield in the opening round of the playoffs.
Lansberry didn\’t fault the efforts of his three pitchers.
\”Out of 10 runs, only four were earned,\” he pointed out. \”Herrington didn\’t give up any, and Bookhamer was going along okay until the home run made it 8-3.\”
Punxsy, which was the JCL regular season runner-up to DuBois, will take a 19-6 record into the Region 7 Tournament that begins Saturday in Bellefonte.
\”That\’s a pretty solid team,\” Lansberry said, noting Punxsy did not have an error after committing only one Wednesday. \”That\’s the way they usually play. They don\’t make a lot of mistakes defensively, and they make doubleplays. That\’s why they\’re tough to beat.\”
Clearfield finished with 11 wins in its last 15 games for a 17-14 record.
\”We improved over the season,\” Lansberry said. \”It took a while to get everybody back from vacations and camps. The last two or three weeks we had a pretty solid lineup.
\”We went farther than I thought we would in the playoffs. Of course, when you get up 2-0, you think you\’re gonna win it.
\”The key game was Wednesday night. We needed to win that one, I felt. I knew it would be tough tonight because Gillung would be ready to go.\”
Lansberry wasn\’t anticipating Gillung would be as much a factor with his bat as with his arm, though.
CLEARFIELD — 3
Jarrin Campman cf 5032, James Zimmermann 2b 5120, Adam Jury ss 2000, Derek Danver 3b 4000, Tanner St. Clair dh 3021, Matt Lonjin c 0000, Parker Herrington p-lf 2110, Justin Hoffman lf-rf-p 4100, Kyle Kline 1b-rf 3000, Aaron Sayers rf 2000, Corey Bookhamer p-1b 2000. TOTALS: 32 3 8 3.
PUNXSUTAWNEY — 10
Dane Kopas rf 5010, Chase Tibbs rf 0000, Zach Smith 2b 5110, Sean Smith 2b 0000, Tommy Bush 3b-p 5120, Tyler Grayson pr 0000, Jacob Stumpf cf 5320, Nick Gillung p-1b 4245, Austin Furman dh 3221, Dakota Bish c 0000, Chad Davis ss 2100, Tyler Wingard 1b 4011, Kyle Neal 3b 0000, Nick Pascuzzo lf 3011. TOTALS: 36 10 14 8.
Score by Innings
Clearfield 020 000 100 – 3 8 4
Punxsutawney 401 010 40x – 10 14 0
Errors – Jury, Danver, Lonjin, Kline. PB – Lonjin 1. DP – Punxsutawney 2 (Bush, Smith and Wingard; Z. Smith, Davis and Wingard). LOB – Clearfield 10; Punxsutawney 6. 2B – Z. Smith, Gillung 2, Pascuzzo. HR – Gillung. Sac – Herrington, Kline; Pascuzzo. SB – Campman.
Clearfield – Herrington 3 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K; Bookhamer 3-1/3 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 0 K; Hoffman 1-2/3 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 K.
Punxsutawney – Gillung 7 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 5 BB, 3 K; Bush 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K.
WP – Herrington.
W – Gillung. L – Herrington (3-6).