HYDE – Despite three home runs, two of them by Matt Lonjin, the Clearfield Area High School baseball team’s hopes for a winning season took a hit Friday when Huntingdon sprayed 21 hits around the Bison Sports Complex for a 12-7 win in the non-league game.
Seven of the nine starters had at least two safeties as the Bearcats scored in every inning except the second to drop the Bisons to 8-8.
Though the visitors were making good contact against loser Tyler Jacobson and reliever Kurtis Krise most of the afternoon, Clearfield coach Sid Lansberry considered the score somewhat deceiving because five of the Huntingdon singles never left the infield and a few more grounders were just out of the reach of Bison infielders.
“I don’t think Jacobson pitched that badly,” Lansberry said. “I really don’t.
“They had a lot hits that just squeaked into the outfield. It’s nobody’s fault. Those just aren’t plays you can make.”
The fourth inning typified the frustration for the Bisons, who had wiped out a 3-0 deficit on Lonjin’s two-run homer, the first of his career, to left center in the second and Andrew Redden’s solo shot over the 370-foot mark in dead center in the third frame.
Twice, shortstop Derek Danver went into the hole to knock down grounders but had no chance to make a play.
No. 9 hitter Kevin Norris, who pestered the Bisons with three hits and three runs, got aboard on the first one and scored on a near-identical one by Alex Miller. In between, Nathan Mykut wound up with a double when his sharp grounder glanced off Jacobson’s glove and rolled behind third base.
Bobby Colton made it 5-3 with a line single to left.
Both runs came with two outs, as did the tallies Huntingdon (7-10) posted earlier.
Matt Stewart’s hard grounder through the middle produced a run in the first.
After Norris laid down a perfect bunt along the third base line with two outs in the second, Scott Minor ripped a double to right center and Mykut grounded a seeing-eye single into left for two RBIs.
“I don’t think any team gives up that many hits into the hole,” Lansberry proclaimed.
Clearfield never recovered.
Huntingdon, a former Central Penn League opponent that will be back on the Bison schedule regularly as a Mountain Athletic Conference foe beginning next spring, broke it open with four runs in the fifth.
Winning pitcher Corey Flegal rocketed one of the longest home runs to left center in recent memory. One out later, Corey Stuller’s looper to left and Norris’ liner to left center put runners on the corners. Minor wound up with an RBI-single when first base was uncovered on his roller to short, and Mykut drilled a run-scoring double inside third base to chase Jacobson.
Two walks by Krise forced in another run.
In the sixth, an error and Stuller’s home run to left expanded the Bearcat advantage to 11-3 before the Bisons got back on the scoreboard on pinch-hitter Steve Miller’s RBI-groundout and Lonjin’s second high-fly homer to left center off Minor, who relieved Flegal after Garrett Samsel walked and Chad Zurat doubled to right center.
Both teams added a run in the seventh, Clearfield’s coming on Drew Brown’s single, a walk and Zurat’s second hit before Stuller, the third Huntingdon hurler, logged the final three outs.
Because of Wednesday’s rainout against St. Marys, Lansberry gave Zurat some work on the mound in relief of Krise in the top of the last inning.
Lonjin and Zurat accounted for half of Clearfield’s hits, while Minor and Mykut paced Huntingdon with four hits apiece.
“In my mind, it’s our most discouraging loss because of the mental mistakes that don’t always show up in the book,” Lansberry said. “They made a difference in the game. And there were several.”
“There were a lot of good things, too. We got some kids off the bench a chance to do something, and they did a good job. Miller drove in a run. He doesn’t play very much. Brown had a hit.”
The Bisons also pulled off a rare double play that kept the Bearcats close in the third inning.
Colton struck out on a wild pitch and Flegal reached when left fielder Shane Harper and Danver collided on his fly ball to short left center. Seconds later, Harper redeemed himself by gunning down Colton at the plate on Nate Shope’s single through the left side. Lonjin alertly fired to second base to nail Shope, who had rounded the bag after advancing on the throw to the plate.
Needing three wins to clinch a winning record, Clearfield brings down the curtain on the regular season with home games against West Branch Monday, St. Marys Tuesday and Brookville Wednesday before traveling to Altoona Friday.
HUNTINGDON — 12
Scott Minor 6341, Nathan Mykut lf-rf 5143, Alex Miller 3b 3011, Bobby Colton ss 5021, Matt Stewart 1b 4012, Will Clarkson pr 0100, Corey Flegal p-c 5121, Nate Shope rf-cf-lf 5120, Corey Stuller c-rf-p 5223, Scott Alleman pr 0000, Kevin Norris 2b 4330, Alec Tressler pr 0000. TOTALS: 42 12 21 12.
CLEARFIELD — 7
Jarrett Fulmer 2b-ss 4010, Justin Hoffman rf-cf 3010, Andrew Redden 1b 4111, Derek Danver ss 2000, Drew Brown 2b 1110, Luke Peterson 3b 0000, Kurtis Krise p 0000, Wil Beauseigneur rf 0000, Garret Samsel dh 2100, Chad Zurat cf-p 3221, Tyler Jacobson p-3b 2000, Steve Miller ph, 1001, Maverick Vanderburgh ph 1000, Matt Lonjin c 4224, Shane Harper lf 1ooo, Isaac Butler ph 0000, Justyn Knepp ph-lf 2000. TOTALS: 30 7 8 7.
Score by Innings
Huntingdon 120 242 1 – 12 21 0
Clearfield 021 003 1 – 7 8 2
Errors – Danver, Harper. DP – Clearfield 2 (Harper, Lonjin and Fulmer; Jacobson and Redden). LOB – Huntingdon 13; Clearfield 8. 2B – Minor, Mykut; Zurat. HR – Flegal, Stuller; Redden (4), Lonjin 2 (1, 2). SB – Hoffman, Zurat 2.
Huntingdon – Flegal 5+ IP (faced 2 batters in 6th), 4 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 7 K; Minor 1+ IP (faced 3 batters in 7th), 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K; Stuller 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K.
Clearfield – Jacobson 4-1/3 IP, 15 H, 9 R, 9 ER, 1 BB, 5 K; Kris 2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 K; Zurat 2/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K.
HB – Krise 1 (Miller), Zurat 1 (Norris). WP – Jacobson 2, Zurat 1.
W – Flegal. L – Jacobson (1-3).
Umpires – Kenny Knepp (plate); Al Fricke (bases).