PUNXSUTAWNEY – Though not recording a run-scoring hit, Punxsutawney I-Medical changed the scoreboard lights on a passed ball, an error, two walks, a sacrifice fly and a rundown to spoil Clearfield’s return to the VFW Teener Area 6 Tournament 13-and-14 Division Monday evening.
Jim’s Sports Center out-hit the hosts 7-3 but left 10 runners on base, six in scoring position, in the 6-2 loss at Rich Kuntz Memorial Field.
Down 4-0, Jim’s scored both runs in the fourth inning on line drive singles to center by Eric Sellers and Josh Kennedy and two I-Medical misplays.
A botched suicide squeeze prevented Jim’s from making it a one-run game as Sawyer Rowles, hung up when the bunt attempt failed, finally was tagged out after six throws.
Sellers and Kennedy also had back-to-back hits off winner Brycen Paulinelli in the second inning. They advanced on a wild pitch but were stranded in scoring position when the Punxsy right-hander notched two of his 10 strikeouts.
Kennedy added a third hit in the sixth.
Josh Sorbera was the only other Clearfield batter to solve Paulinelli, who did not walk anybody but still was pulled with two outs in the sixth inning after nearing triple digits for his pitch count.
Dakota Byers relieved and worked out of trouble in the last two frames with inning-ending strikeouts that came with five Jim’s runners aboard.
Loser C.J. Gathagan surrendered only two hits in four-plus innings on the mound. Both two batters he hit came around to score, and two of his five walks forced in runs.
I-Medical received a gift run in the first inning and then tacked on three tallies in the third.
The winners filled the sacks via a hit batsman, Matt Griffith’s bouncer through the left side and Lance Pennington’s two-strike sacrifice attempt that resulted in a hit when Gathagan slipped will trying to make the play. The runs scored on a miscue and walks to Reuban Taylor and Brandon Blose.
Two free passes around a hit batsman gave I-Medical another bases-loaded opportunity in the fifth. Taylor’s sacrifice fly to deep center accounted for one run, and Byers scooted to the plate while Taylor was being chased back to first base.
Cole Kephart struck out two and allowed one hit in 1-2/3 scoreless innings for Jim’s.
Clearfield will complete the first round of the double-round robin tourney against Philipsburg-Osceola Wednesday and Curwensville Friday at the Lawrence Township Recreation Park Field. The games will start at 5:30 p.m.
Philipsburg-Osceola won 10-8 at Curwensville Monday evening.
CLEARFIELD — 2
Zach Krise rf 4000, Logan Puit 2b-ss 3010, Cole Kephart ss-p 4000, Kyle Kushner lf-3b 3000, Eric Sellers 1b 2130, Josh Kennedy 3b 4130, Evan Brown pr-lf 0000, Sawyer Rowles cf 3000, C.J. Gathagan p 2000, Noah Cline 2b 0000, Josh Sorbera c 2010, Thomas Summers ph 1000. TOTALS: 29 3 7 0.
PUNXSUTAWNEY — 6
T.J. Petro c 1100, Lance Pennington cf 1210, Brycen Paulinelli p-ss 3000, Dakota Byers ss-c-p 2100, Reuban Taylor rf 0001, Brandon Blose 3b-c 1002, Doug Pollack 2b-ss-3b 2010, Ryan Jones cf-2b 2000, Keeston Perry lf 2000, Tyler Geer ph 1000, Ethan Ambler 1b 2100, Matt Griffith eh 2110. TOTALS: 19 6 3 3.
Score by Innings
Clearfield 000 200 0 – 2 7 2
Punxsutawney 103 020 x – 6 3 4
Errors – Kephart, Kennedy; Pennington, Jones, Ambler 2. PB – Sorbera 2. DP – Clearfield 1 (Rowles and Sorbera); Punxsutawney 1 (Petro and Pollack). LOB – Clearfield 10; Punxsutawney 5. Sac – Jones. SF – Blose. SB – Pollack. CS – Puit (by Petro); Taylor (by Sorbera).
Clearfield – Gathagan 4-1/3 IP, 2 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 5 BB, 1 K; Kephart 1-2/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K.
Punxsutawney – Paulinelli 5-2/3 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 10 K; Byers 1-1/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 2 K.
HB – Gathagan 2 (Byers, Ambler); Paulinelli 1 (Puit). WP – Paulinelli, Byers. Balk – Gathagan 1.
W – Paulinelli. L – Gathagan (0-1).