HYDE – Kyle Schneider hurled a complete-game five-hitter and Jake Levering drove in five runs with two homers and a single as Williamsport handed Clearfield its first Central Penn League setback, 9-0, in schoolboy baseball action at the Bison Sports Complex Monday afternoon.
The Bisons remain in first place at 4-1, while the Millionaires are one of four other one-loss contenders in what is shaping up as a wide-open race.
Four games in five days had taken their toll on the Bison pitching staff, so coach Sid Lansberry had no options except to send two position players to the mound in the battle of 5-2 teams.
First baseman Andrew Redden and second baseman Derek Danver had not toed the rubber since last summer, the former pitching in the Curwensville Teener League and the latter working a few innings for the Clearfield Legion team.
“I knew coming up here we were stuck, but these guys kept it respectable,” Lansberry said. “They’re good enough athletes to go out there and do that.”
Redden was the starter and loser, surrendering nine hits and seven runs in three innings, but he easily could have been locked in a scoreless duel with Schneider after two instead of being down 4-0.
Drae Lewis led off by lining the first of his three hits over short and stole second. After registering the first of his five strikeouts and watching third baseman Tyler Jacobson spear Ray Plymette’s laser, Redden had Schneider in a 1-2 hole when the Millionaire junior sent a hard grounder to the right side. Danver had broken toward the bag to keep Lewis close and was unable to recover in time to make a play as Lewis raced to the plate.
Three pitches later, Levering belted a high fly to right that soared over the fence for a two-run homer.
In the second inning, the speedy Lewis bunted for a hit, stole second and scored an unearned run on Josh McCormick’s groundout after advancing to third on a throwing error.
Levering’s RBI-single and Lewis’ two-run single upped the margin to 7-0 in the third.
Danver relieved in the fourth and, aided by a pair of doubleplays, kept the Millionaires at bay for three innings before giving up Levering’s second two-run homer, a bomb over the left center fence.
Meanwhile, Schneider was on cruise control and finished strong, retiring the last 11 Clearfield batters.
He struck out 12 Bisons, including six in a row from the fourth through the sixth innings, and hit one. He pounded the strike zone and went to a three-ball count only four times.
“That kid is probably the best pitcher we’ve faced.” Lansberry said. “He mixed up his pitches. He threw low and away strikes. And he is a smart pitcher.
“We weren’t gonna get a lot of runs. We had chances to score, but he got tough every time.”
Bison hitters led off three of the first four innings with singles, with the best scoring opportunity in the fourth when Danver singled and, with one out, Jacobson doubled to left center. That’s when Schneider began his strikeout streak.
“We didn’t give away the game,” Lansberry said. “They earned it. That’s a good hitting lineup.”
Lewis and Schneider matched Levering’s three hits and Jared Fagnano added two for the Millionaires, who have a team average of .316.
Jarrett Fulmer singled twice for the Bisons, who travel to St. Marys Wednesday for an important CPL and District 9 Northern Allegany League Big School game and host Altoona in a CPL makeup game Thursday.
Central Penn League – Clearfield 4-1, State College 3-1, Hollidaysburg 2-1, Altoona 1-1, Williamsport 1-1, Punxsutawney 0=1-3, DuBois 0-2, St. Marys 0-2.
WILLIAMSPORT — 9
Drae Lewis cf 3232, Bryan Frailey ph 1000, Josh McCormick c 3001, Perry Rogers ph 0000, Zach McCloskey 2b 0000, Nate Osokow 2b 0000, Ray Plymette dh 4000, Kyle Schneider p 3231, Ben Kaler ph 1110, Jake Levering 4335, Jared Fagnano ss 4120, Kevin Horne 1b 2000, Clyde McAllister 1b 2000, Pat Cassidy 3b 4000, Rantz Mahaffey rf 2000, Zane Britton rf 0000. TOTALS: 33 9 12 9.
CLEARFIELD — 0
Jarrett Fulmer ss 3020, Justin Hoffman rf 3000, Andrew Redden p-1b 3000, Derek Danver 2b-p 3010, Matt Lonjin c 3000, Tyler Jacobson 3b 1010, Isaac Butler ph 1000, Shane Harper lf 0000, Garrett Samsel dh 2000, Justyn Knepp ph 1000, Chad Zurat cf 2010, Maverick Vanderburgh ph 1000, Trevor Flanagan 3b 1000, Luke Peterson 2b 1000. TOTALS: 35 0 5 0.
Score by Innings
Williamsport 313 000 2 – 9 12 0
Clearfield 000 000 0 – 0 5 3
Errors – Fulmer, Lonjin, Jacobson. DP – Clearfield 2 (Fulmer and Redden; Fulmer, Peterson and Redden). LOB – Williamsport 5; Clearfield 5. 2B – Schneider. HR – Levering 2. SB – Lewis 2, Fagnano 2.
Williamsport – Schneider 7 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 12 K.
Clearfield – Redden 3 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 5 K; Danver 4 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 R, 0 BB 2 K.
HB – Schneider 1 (Jacobson); Danver 1 (Rogers). WP – Redden 2. PO – Schneider 1 (Fulmer).
W – Schneider (2-0). L – Redden (0-1).
Umpires – Jim McKee (plate); Jeff Aveni (bases).