CLEARFIELD – Caleb Pepperday and Benton Sinclair combined on a four-hitter as the Philipsburg-Osceola Little League 11-12 All-Stars downed Clearfield 7-2 at McNamee Field Thursday evening to claim the District 5 Northern Tier championship.
Two-run singles by Tanner Lamb and Lewis Jones were the key hits for the visitors, who never trailed in what was the rubber game of a best-of-three series between the rivals.
P-O won 9-1 in the winner\’s bracket final last Friday, but Clearfield gained a rematch with a second victory over Four-Leaf Clover Sunday and then forced a title showdown with a 7-2 victory at Philipsburg.
However, Clearfield couldn\’t reproduce Tuesday\’s power display, which included four home runs.
Pepperday, making his first tourney start after two brief relief stints, sailed into the fifth on a two-hitter before reaching the 85-pitch limit on the first pitch of his eighth strikeout. He walked four and was charged with one unearned run in posting the win.
Sinclair got the last five outs, fanning two, in his first appearance of the tourney. He walked one and gave up two hits and one run.
Lamb and Sinclair rapped two singles apiece and Jones drove in three runs.
P-O, the home team by virtue of a coin toss, took a 1-0 lead on singles by Lamb and Pepperday and a groundout by Jones in the first inning.
Clearfield knotted the count in the second when starting pitcher C.J. Gathagan slashed a liner to right to plate Jared Williams, running for Nate Brady, who had reached base on P-O\’s lone miscue.
The winners, taking advantage of two free passes, responded with a three-run rally. Sinclair bounced an RBI-single to right for the go-ahead run. Then, right after Clearfield just missed getting the third out at third base on a cut-off play as Chris Thompson stole second, Lamb ripped a clutch single to left to make it 4-1.
P-O increased the margin to 7-1 against reliever Wyatt Westen in the fourth.
Pepperday coaxed a walk with the bases loaded and Jones rolled a one-out single through the left side with the infielders playing up for a possible forceout at the plate.
In the fifth, Spencer Herrington greeted Sinclair with a single and scored on Jared Williams\’ groundout.
Gathagan\’s second hit, a double down the left field line in the sixth, was the lone extra base blow.
Clearfield had a good showing with four wins in six games, while Philipsburg-Osceola will take a 3-1 record into Saturday\’s District 5 championship game against visiting Mifflin County, which edged State College American 7-6 for the Southern Tier crown.
CLEARFIELD — 2
Josh Sorbera c 4000, Wyatt Westen 3b-p 2000, Spencer Herrington ss 3110, Jon Janocko 1b-3b 1000, Nate Brady rf 1100, Jared Williams ph-cf 2001, Kyle Kushner lf 100, Robby Carns lf 1000, C.J. Gathagan p-1b 3021, Zach Timchak cf 1010, Sawyer Rowles rf 2000, Curtis Collins 2b 2000. TOTALS: 23 2 4 2.
PHILIPSBURG-OSCEOLA — 7
Chris Thompson 2b 2200, Tanner Lamb ss 3122, Caleb Pepperday p-1b 2011, Lewis Jones c 3013, Tim Eason cf 1100, Ben Johnson lf 2000, Mitch Winters ph-lf 1000, Benton Sinclair 1b-p 3221, Lowman Pryde rf 1000, Ryan Yost rf 1110, Denny Myers rf 1010. TOTALS: 23 7 8 7.
Score by Innings
Clearfield 010 010 – 2 4 1
Philipsburg-Osceola 130 30x – 7 8 1
Errors – Herrington; Wilson. LOB – Clearfield 8; Philipsburg-Osceola 6. 2B – Gathagan. SB – Thompson, Pepperday.
Clearfield – Gathagan 1-2/3 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 K; Westen 3-1/3 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 7 K.
Philipsburg-Osceola – Pepperday 4-1/3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 8 K; Sinclair 1-2/3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K.
W – Pepperday (1-0). L – Gathagan (1-1).
Umpires – Scott Viehdorfer (plate); Jeff Aveni (first base); Al Fricke (third base).