PUNXSUTAWNEY – After staving off defeat with two runs in the top of the seventh inning for the second time in four days, the Clearfield Bisons again weren\’t able to pull out a win Thursday.
Justin Hoffman came through with another clutch, two-out, two-strike hit to tie the game, but Tommy Bush\’s bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth gave Punxsutawney a 5-4 victory at Kuntz Field.
The heart-breaker dropped Clearfield (1-4) to 0-2 in the District 9 Northern Allegany League Big School Division and 0-4 in the Central Penn League.
\”That was a tough one,\” Bison coach Sid Lansberry said. \”We didn\’t pitch that badly except for walks. And, in spite of three errors, we played well on defense.
\”Offensively, we\’re just not cashing. We have to hit with men on base. We don\’t have everybody hitting at the same time.\”
The Bisons wasted good pitching by senior Corey Bookhamer in his first start of the season and sophomore Trevor Flanagan in his varsity debut.
Bookhamer worked into the sixth, giving up only three hits and four runs, two of them unearned. He struck out three but walked seven.
Flanagan blanked the Chucks on one hit while whiffing two and walking one in 2-2/3 innings.
He was bailed out in by what Lansberry termed a great defensive play in the lower eighth.
With Dylan Voris at first, Sean Smith pounded a double to the fence in left center, but the Bisons cut down the winning run with a perfect 8-6-2 relay.
\”Kyle Timchak made a good throw to Herrington, who was at least 50 or 60 feet in the outfield, and Parker turned around and threw a strike to home on the fly to nail the runner,\” Lansberry said. \”That play was amazing. It got everybody fired up. We had the momentum. We had to do something in the top of the ninth, but we didn\’t.\”
If the Bisons had taken the lead, Lansberry\’s plan was to send Flanagan back to the mound.
With the score still knotted, he switched to Aaron Sayers, explaining, \”Now you have to get six outs, at least, and Flanagan had run through the order once.\”
Sayers couldn\’t find the plate, issuing two walks and going 2-0 on the next batter, so Herrington was summoned for his first relief appearance of the season.
He completed the walk to Tyler Wingard, loading the bases with no outs, and Bush\’s fly to Sayers in short right center ended the game when Lonjin just missed a sweeping tag on the throw to the plate.
Clearfield took Bookhamer off the hook in the seventh when Tanner St. Clair rapped a two-out double to drive in Herrington, who had walked, and Hoffman chased home pinch-runner Chad Zurat with a single up the middle.
Hoffman, who is hitting .500 with six RBIs, drove in the first two Bison runs with a single through the right side off Punxsy starter Tommy Bush in the third inning.
The Chucks (2-2, 2-1 D9NAL, 2-1 CPL) pecked away at Bookhamer with singletons in the first on Jacob Stumpf\’s RBI double, the third when Wingard scored from third when the Bisons caught Bush in a rundown on a steal attempt, the fourth on Sean Smith\’s RBI groundout and the sixth on a throwing error.
Smith relieved Bush in the fourth and kept the Bisons in check until the seventh, retiring the first 10 batters he faced and 11 of 12 before the big hits by St. Clair and Hoffman.
\”He\’s the guy who beat us twice in Legion last year,\” Lansberry said. \”He doesn\’t throw hard, but he changes speeds. He\’s a groundball pitcher, and they didn\’t make any errors.
Dylan Kachmar picked up the win after setting down five Bisons in a row.
St. Clair matched Hoffman\’s two hits, while Isaac Butler singled to keep his hitting streak alive at five games.
The Bisons will go on the road again Saturday for a non-league game against Westmont-Hilltop and Monday for a CPL game against Williamsport before, hopefully, finally playing their home opener Wednesday against Brookville.
CLEARFIELD — 4
Jarrin Campman 2b 4000, Parker Herrington ss-p 2200, Aaron Sayers cf-p-cf 4000, Kyle Timchak cf 0000, Tanner St. Clair lf-3b 3121, Chad Zurat pr 0100, Justin Hoffman rf 4023, Derek Danver 3b-ss 4010, Corey Bookhamer p-1b 4010, Matt Lonjin c 0000, Isaac Butler dh 4010, Michael Moyer 1b 1000, Trevor Flanagan p 1000, Garrett Samsel lf 0000. TOTALS: 31 4 7 4.
PUNXSUTAWNEY — 5
Dakota Bish c 3010, Dylan Kachmar ss-p 0000, Tyler Wingard dh 3100, Tommy Bush p-3b-ss 3111, Jacob Stumpf cf 3111, Braedon Pennington lf 4100, Dylan Voris rf 2000, Tyler Grayson rf 1010, Tyler Skerkavich 1b 2000, Sean Smith 3b-p-3b 4011, Kyle Neal 2b 2100, Dominic Bevak ph 0000. TOTALS: 27 5 5 3.
Score by Innings
Clearfield 002 000 200 – 4 7 3
Punxsutawney 101 101 001 – 5 5 0
Errors – Herrington, Danver, Moyer. LOB – Clearfield 8; Punxsutawney 9. 2B – St. Clair; Stumpf, Smith. Sac – Campman, Sayers. SF – Bush. SB – Wingard. CS – Bush (by Lonjin).
Clearfield – Bookhamer 5-1/3 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 7 BB, 3 K; Flanagan 2-2/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K; Sayers 0 IP (faced 3 batters in 9th), 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 0 K; Herrington 1/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K.
Punxsutawney – Bush 3+ IP (faced 1 batter in 4th), 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 2 K; Smith 4-1/3 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K; Kachmar 1-2/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K.
HB – Bookhamer 1 (Bevak). WP – Bookhamer 1; Bush 1.
W – Kachmar (2-1). L – Sayers (0-1).