HYDE — The Clearfield American Legion Post 6 baseball team came from behind in the late innings to take fourth place in the Central Penn League away from Huntingdon with a 3-2 win at the Lawrence Township Recreation Park Field Friday evening.
Two unearned runs in the third inning and Leif Brown’s ability to escape jams in three innings had the visitors in front 2-1 going to the final frame.
With one out, a bizarre finish unfolded after Josh Sorbera singled into left center, Will Myers was hit by a pitch and Marcus Luzier and Brandon Orsich drew walks to tie up the make-up game.
Huntingdon manager George Zanic called on Trevon Walker to pitch and backed him with five infielders by pulling in Drew Weglarz from left. The strategy worked when Jon Trimpey grounded right to shortstop Jon Wagner, who appeared to tag Luzier heading for third and then threw high to the plate.
Myers would have been out on a force, but the tag negated that, so the run counted as the winner.
But only after a lengthy discussion between Zanic and the umpires.
Zanic twice pleaded his case that his player did not have the ball in his glove when he tagged Luzier, meaning the play should have been a forceout, leaving the bases loaded with two outs and the score knotted at 2-2.
However, the call stood and the Chiefs had back-to-back victories for the first time since last June.
More importantly, they enhanced their playoff chances by improving to 5-7 while dropping Huntingdon to 4-6.
Wins are the criteria for seeding, so Clearfield also is ahead of Clarence (4-8), Bellefonte (3-9), Altoona (2-7) and Philipsburg (2-9) with four games remaining.
The Chiefs had only four hits off Brown, who stranded five runners with two of his four strikeouts and ended another bases-loaded threat by inducing a groundout.
Seth Bumbarger broke up his shutout in the sixth inning with the Chiefs’ lone clutch hit, rolling a two-out single through the left side to drive in Brandon Orsich. That run was unearned because of a dropped fly ball.
Orsich also was the winning pitcher for the second night in a row, allowing two hits and striking out two in a three-inning relief stint. He had blanked Altoona 13-0 over five innings Thursday, logging only 47 pitches.
Hazel, who had pitched 2-2/3 innings in a relief role against Mifflin County Tuesday, gave the Chiefs four solid innings in his first start of the season. He gave up four hits and two walks.
An error opened the door for Huntingdon in the third. Nate Leydig’s single and the two free passes produced the first run. The second scored on Walker’s forceout.
Bumbarger had two hits for the Chiefs, while Leydig and Jared Showalter had two apiece for the visitors.
Clearfield, 6-8 overall, will play Altoona in another make-up game Sunday at 3 p.m. at the LTRP diamond.
HUNTINGDON — 2
Nick Zanic cf 4000, Brian McLaughlin 2b 300, Jon Wagner ss 3011, Trevon Walker 3b-p 3001, Leif Brown p-3b 3000, Jared Showalter rf 3020, Alex Mykut c 2010, Drew Weglarz lf 2100, Nate Leydig 1b 3120. TOTALS: 26 2 6 2.
CLEARFIELD — 3
Josh Sorbera c 4110, Will Myers ss 1100, Marcus Luzier 3b 3000, Brandon Orsich 1b-p 2111, Jon Trimpey cf 3001, Jake Sorbera rf 3000, Reese Wilson lf 2000, Tommy Hazel p 0000, Seth Bumbarger 1b 2021, Zane Morgan eh-2b-eb-2b-eh-2b 2000, Thayne Morgan 2b-eh-2b-eh-2b 1000, Jarrit Wagner ph-eh 1000. TOTALS: 24 3 4 3.
Score by Innings
Huntingdon 002 000 0 – 2 6 1
Clearfield 000 001 2 – 3 4 1
E – Showalter; Luzier. LOB – Huntingdon 7; Clearfield 12. 2B – Showalter 2, Orsich. Sac – Mykut; Z. Morgan. SB – Wagner, Walker.
Huntingdon – Brown 6-1/3 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 9 BB, 4 K; Walker 1/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K.
Clearfield – Hazel 4 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K; Orsich 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K.
HB – Brown 1 (Myers); Hazel 1 (Weglarz). WP – Brown 1.
W – Orsich (4-2). L – Brown.
Umpires – Jerry Neal (plate) and Jim Matthews (bases).