ALTOONA — Josh Sorbera clutched up for a pair of two-out, two-run singles and Thomas Summers pitched a complete game to get the Clearfield Area High School baseball team back into the win column Saturday after two tough losses in five days.
Sorbera’s two big hits bracketed the Bison scoring in the 7-3 victory over Forest Hills in a Curve Classic consolation game at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
The senior catcher lined a single to center after Brandon Orsich walked, Erik Sellers got plunked and Sawyer Rowles singled through the left side in the second inning.
Sorbera capped a four-run sixth inning with a hard shot past the second baseman to lift his batting average to .450.
“He’s been hitting the ball, and those were two big ‘pick-me-ups’ right there with two outs,” coach Sid Lansberry said after the Bison improved to 4-2 despite mustering only five safeties. “We’re just not hitting as a team. We’ve got to pick it up.
“We’re staying in games because of our pitching.”
Summers gave the Bison their sixth consecutive quality start, fashioning a five-hitter with five strikeouts, three walks and one hit batsmen for his third win in four decisions.
He struggled only in the fifth inning when the Rangers (2-3) tied the game.
The senior left-hander walked Luke McCormick, hit Brian Bernard and walked Tanner Polinski to fill the sacks with two outs, and designated hitter Blaine Harteis drilled a single into left field to make it 3-3.
Summers proceeded to retire seven of the last nine Rangers he faced, allowing only a single by McCormick on a high hopper that glanced off leaping third baseman Cole Kephart’s glove in the bottom of the seventh inning.
“Thomas pitched well,” Lansberry said. “He got a little tired and looked like he was almost done in the fifth inning, but he came back in the last two innings.”
Clearfield owned a 3-0 lead when Tommy Hazel rifled a single to left for a two-out RBI in the third frame.
After Forest Hills made it interesting, Kephart triggered Clearfield’s game-winning rally by leading off the top of the sixth inning with a single to left center. When Sam Vought issued a walk, his fourth, to Brandon Orsich, Tanner Polinski came on in relief.
With one out, Sellers draw a walk and the Bison caught a big break when what looked like a double play grounder near second base was booted, giving Rowles an RBI for the winning run scored by Kephart.
Pinch-hitter Dan Collins provided the first of three unearned insurance runs with a sacrifice fly to right before Sorbera delivered his second key hit.
“We needed that win,” Lansberry said. “We lost to two good teams (Punxsutawney and Central) and we didn’t want to lose today. You’ve gotta win games like this.”
The Bison will practice on their home field for the first time Monday before going back on the road with their 3-1 Mountain League record to play Philipsburg-Osceola Tuesday and Bald Eagle Area Wednesday.
In the tourney’s championship semifinals, Central thumped Bishop Guilfoyle 17-0 in three innings and Altoona drubbed Hollidaysburg 15-0 in four innings. They’ll meet Sunday at 1 p.m. in the title game.
CLEARFIELD — 7
Josh Sorbera c 3024, Spencer Herrington ss 2000, Jonathan Trimpey ph-lf 2000, Thomas Summers p 3000, Cole Kephart 3b 4210, Noah Cline lf-2b 1100, Brandon Orsich dh 1100, Tommy Hazel rf 3011, Erik Sellers 1b 1200, Sawyer Rowles cf 3111, Will Myers 2b-ss 2000, Dan Collins ph 0001. TOTALS: 25 7 5 7.
FOREST HILLS — 3
Brian Bernard rf-ss 3100, Dominic Panick lf 4000, Tanner Polinski ss-p-3b 3011, Logan Madison 1b 0000, Blaine Harteis dh 3012, Zack Shearman 3b-p 3000, Sam Vought p-rf 3010, Alex Murphy cf 2000, Robert Bambino c 3000, Luke McCormick 2b 2220. TOTALS: 26 3 5 3.
Score by Innings
Clearfield 021 004 0 – 7 5 0
Forest Hills 001 020 0 – 3 5 2
E – Bernard, McCormick. LOB – Clearfield 4; Forest Hills 6. SF – Collins. SB – Sorbera, Rowles.
Clearfield – Summers 7 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K.
Forest Hills – Vought 5+ IP (faced 2 batters in 6th), 4 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 4 K; Polinski 1 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K; Shearman 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K.
HB – Summers 1 (Bernard); Vought 1 (Sellers). WP – Summers 2; Vought 1.
W – Summers (3-1). L – Vought.
Umpires – Bill Johnson (plate) and Larry Stitt (bases).
|3/23||@ Central||2 – 0||1 – 0|
|3/26||@ Huntingdon||ppd.||1 – 0|
|3/27||@ Huntingdon||6 – 4||2 – 0|
|3/31||@ Bellefonte||ppd.||2 – 0|
|4/02||@ Tyrone||6 – 1||3 – 0|
|4/06||PUNXSUTAWNEY||4 – 7, 9 inn.||3 – 1|
|4/07||@ Bald Eagle Area||ppd.||3 – 1|
|4/10||@ Altoona Curve Classic|
|4/10||vs. Central||0 – 2||3 – 2|
|4/11||@ Altoona Curve Classic|
|4/11||vs. Forest Hills||7 – 3||4 – 2|
|4/15||@ Bald Eagle Area|
|5/01||BALD EAGLE AREA|
|5/04||@ Penns Valley|