MILL HALL – In a game that had almost twice as many walks as hits, it was ball four on a very close pitch that decided the Clearfield Area High School baseball team’s fate against undefeated Central Mountain Friday afternoon.
Tyler Buckwalter drew a free pass on a 3-2 pitch with the bases loaded in the sixth inning, forcing in the run that gave the Wildcats a 7-6 victory in the Mountain League Allegheny Division game at Mill Hall Community Park.
Coach Sid Lansberry’s Bisons had only five hits, including doubles by Derek Danver and Christian Lezzer, in falling to 1-1 in the new league and 1-3 overall.
Jarrett Fulmer pitched a complete game and gave up only six hits.
However, a tight strike zone resulted in 20 walks by the Bison right-hander and two Wildcat hurlers.
Three of Fulmer’s nine walks came in the sixth, when Central Mountain (5-0) pulled outs its third division win without benefit of a hit.
A walk, a sacrifice and Clearfield errors on a pickoff attempt and ensuing grounder gave the Wildcats the tying run.
Fulmer didn’t get the call on a close 3-2 offering to Trey Stover and then hit Channing Maiolo to load the bases. His third strikeout preceded the walk to Buckwalter.
Clearfield owned leads of 2-0, 3-1, 5-2 and 6-4, with walks figuring in all but one of its runs.
Two walks, a passed ball, Tyler Jacobson’s RBI-groundout and a wild pitch put the Bisons on top in their first at-bat.
Andrew Redden walked and scored on Jacobson’s single to make it 3-1 in the third.
A walk and an error put the Bisons in business in the fourth against starter Justin Houser. Tanner Ogden picked up an RBI with a groundout and Danver greeted reliever, and winner, Von Walker with a run-scoring double for a 5-2 lead.
Clearfield’s final run in the fifth was set up by two walks. Following a pickoff and a strikeout by Walker, Lezzer advanced to third on pinch-hitter Steve Miller’s single and scored on the back end of a double steal.
Buckwalter had two hits for the Wildcats.
Clearfield will host Bald Eagle Area in an MVL crossover game Monday.
CLEARFIELD — 6
Jarrett Fulmer p 2100, Derek Danver ss 3011, Andrew Redden c 2210, Trevor Flanagan 1b 3000, Tyler Jacobson 3b 3012, Kurtis Krise rf 0000, Christian Lezzer dh 3110, Shane Harper cf 2100, Drew Brown lf 3100, Steve Miller ph 1010, Tanner Ogden 2b 2001. TOTALS: 24 6 5 4.
CENTRAL MOUNTAIN — 7
Trey Stover ss 3001, Channing Maiolo 2b 2011, Von Walker cf-p 2100, Tyler Buckwalter lf-cf 2121, Ryan Hill c 4011, Michael Vonada 1b 3000, Justin Houser p 0000, Alec Quiggle lf 0000, Kyle Bryan dh 1210, Brad Walker 3b 1100, Luke Wise rf 3211. TOTALS: 21 7 6 5.
Score by Innings
Clearfield 201 210 0 – 6 5 4
Central Mountain 011 212 x – 7 6 2
E – Fulmer 2, Ogden, Brown; Maiolo 2. PB – Hill 2. DP – Clearfield 1 (Danver, Flanagan and Jacobson). LOB – Clearfield 8; Central Mountain 7. 2B – Danver, Lezzer; Bryan. Sac – B. Walker. SB – Lezzer, Brown; Maiolo 2, V. Walker 2, Buckwalter 2. CS – V. Walker 2 (by Redden, by Fulmer), Hill (by Redden).
Clearfield – Fulmer 6 IP, 6 H, 7 R, 3 ER, 9 BB, 3 K.
Central Mountain – Houser 3.1 IP, 2 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 6 BB, 6 K; V. Walker 3.3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 5 BB, 6 K.
HB – Fulmer 1 (Maiolo). WP – Fulmer 2; Houser 1. PO – V. Walker 1 (Jacobson).
W – V. Walker (1-0). L – Fulmer (0-2).