HYDE – Aided by two walks and two Bellefonte errors, the Clearfield American Legion baseball team rallied for four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to pull out a 7-6 Central Penn League win at the Bison Sports Complex junior varsity field Saturday evening.
Facing defeat and wasting another stellar outing on the bump by Kyler Kephart, the Post 6 Chiefs loaded the bases via pair of walks issued by reliever Zach Williams around a miscue on Curtis Collins’ grounder.
After Wyatt Westen scampered to the plate on a wild pitch and Derek Danver slapped a single to right field to chase home Collins, Andrew Redden came through with a game-tying RBI single, his third hit of the game, to right center.
An attempt to cut down Danver at third base was off target, and the Clearfield shortstop trotted home with the winning run.
Kephart, who absorbed a tough 2-1 loss Monday after shutting out Beech Creek for six innings, carried a three-hitter, a 3-1 lead and a string of 10 consecutive outs into the seventh, thanks to an outstanding backhanded grab by Redden on Mike Mann’s drive to deep left field for the third out in the sixth.
Danver robbed Ryan McCloskey of a leadoff hit in the seventh with a diving stop behind second base, but an error on Taylor Smith’s grounder opened the door for Bellefonte. And the visitors quickly drew even on Brandon Shuey’s bloop double near the right field line and Seth Weaver’s two-run single to short right center.
In the top of the ninth, Weaver singled sharply up the middle for a two-out RBI that put Bellefonte ahead with what was an unearned run at the time because of an outfield misplay of McCloskey’s leadoff single. It turned into an earned run moments later when Colton Housel chased Kephart with a double down the right field line and Matt Kyper greeted Thomas Summers by hammering a two-run triple down the left field line.
Summers induced a groundout by Kevin Tate and then wound up the winning hurler when the Chiefs came back.
Kephart and Smith, who worked eight innings, were locked in a fast-paced pitcher’s duel most of the game, matching five strikeouts.
Bellefonte (1-3) batters put the ball in play on the first pitch 13 times against Kephart, including five in a row in innings four through six.
Clearfield batters hit the first or second pitch from Smith on 13 trips to the plate.
The teams traded singletons in the third inning.
Tate delivered a RBI single for Bellefonte following a two-out miscue. Westen ripped a double over third base and scored the equalizer for the Chiefs on Kephart’s groundout.
Clearfield broke through again in the sixth with Redden’s second two-bagger to deep right center providing the spark. Cole Kephart singled through the left side, and Jon Janocko broke the tie with a sacrifice fly to right. A two-out error gave the Chiefs an insurance that proved all-important when Bellefonte averted defeat in the seventh.
Janocko and Cole Kephart had two hits apiece for Clearfield, while Weaver, Kyper and McCloskey each had two for Bellefonte.
The Chiefs, 2-2 in the CPL and 3-2 overall, will welcome Mifflin County to the Lawrence Township Recreation Park Field Sunday at 5:30 p.m.
BELLEFONTE — 6
Seth Weaver lf 4-2-2-3, Colton Housel 3b 5-1-1-0, Matt Kyper dh 4-0-1-2, Kevin Tate c 4-0-2-1, Doylan Deitrich ss 3-0-0-0, Mike Mann rf 4-0-0-0, Ryan McCloskey 2b 4-1-2-0, Zach Williams 1b-p 2-0-0-0, Taylor Smith p-ph 2-1-0-0, Brandon Shuey cf 4-1-1-0. TOTALS: 36-6-9-6.
CLEARFIELD — 7
Kyler Kephart p-1b 4-1-0-1, Derek Danver ss 5-1-1-1, Andrew Redden c-lf 5-1-3-1, Cole Kephart 2b 4-1-2-0, Jon Janocko 3b 3-0-2-1, Josh Kennedy pr 0-0-0-0, Ronny Ogden rf 3-0-1-0, Thomas Summers 1b-p 4-0-1-0, Matt Josephson pr 0-0-0-0, Wyatt Westen cf 3-2-1-0, Curtis Collins lf 3-1-0-0, Jonas Kochan c 1-0-0-0. TOTALS: 35-7-11-4.
Score by Innings
Bellefonte 001 000 203 – 6 9 3
Clearfield 001 002 004 – 7 11 3
Errors – Deitrich 2, McCloskey; Danver, Redden, Summers. DP – Clearfield 1 (Danver and Summers). LOB – Bellefonte 7; Clearfield 8. 2B – Housel, Shuey; Redden 2, Westen. 3B – Kyper. Sac – Tate. SF – Janocko.
Bellefonte – Smith 8 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K; Williams 0+ IP (faced 5 batters in 9th), 2 H, 4 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 0 K.
Clearfield – K. Kephart 8-2/3 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 5 K; Summers 1/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K.
HB – Smith 1 (Ogden); K. Kephart 1 (Kyper). WP – Williams 1.
W – Summers (1-0). L – Smith.
Umpires – Frank Keenan (plate) and Rob Murphy (bases).