Orsich’s Gem Against Owls Sends Bison to Title Game

HYDE — Longtime Clearfield Area High School baseball coach Sid Lansberry is running out of superlatives to compliment ace pitcher Brandon Orsich.

He resorted to phenomenal and unbelievable to go along with outstanding after the big righty continued his sensational senior season run and ended the Bison’s playoff drought by shutting out Bradford 9-0 at the Bison Sports Complex Tuesday afternoon.

The District 9 Class AAA semifinal win was the first since 2009 for No. 2 seed Clearfield (12-8), which will challenge perennial champion Punxsutawney in the title game Thursday at 6 p.m. at Showers Field in DuBois.

Orsich utilized all four of his pitches in the two-hit masterpiece, with pitching coach Chris Peacock pointing out that the curve and cutter were especially effective.

Nine strikeouts highlighted the Pitt-Bradford commit’s third shutout and seventh complete game in eight starts. He also worked seven innings in his no-decision outing.

“That’s unbelievable for a high school pitcher,” Lansberry proclaimed. “Every start a complete game. That’s never happened that I can remember.”

Orsich did allow a rare walk and hit one batter.

“Another outstanding performance by Brandon,” Lansberry said. “His strikeout-to-walk ratio was 59-6 coming in; that’s phenomenal for a high school pitcher, and today only made it better.

“The game plan coach Peacock had was great, and Brandon executed well.

“And, we usually play good defense behind him. The kids play with confidence when he’s on the hill.”

The Bison broke on top in the second inning when Will Myers walked and came around on singles by Eli Glass and Logan Lykens.

They continued to add on the rest of the way.

In the third, Zane Morgan bounced a single through the middle to extend his hitting streak to eight games and plate twin brother Thayne, who had led off with a hit and moved into scoring position on Justin Fedder’s sacrifice bunt.

“Those were clutch hits by Lykens and Zane,” Lansberry said. “That’s all we needed.”

With Orsich in cruise control, back-to-back three-run rallies ensued against Bradford starter Andrew Bacha and reliever Danny Manion.

Two misplays by the Owls opened the door in the fourth, Ty Bender scoring on one before Reese Wilson and Fedder registered RBIs with a groundout and single, respectively.

Jon Trimpey’s two-run double to right center was the biggest of four hits in the fifth, and he crossed the plate when Lykens punched a single into short right center.

“We had contributions up and down the order, but that kind of put the icing on the cake,” Lansberry said.

Zane Morgan walked and dashed all the way around the sacks on Will Myers’ high fly single to right center in the sixth.

Zane Morgan, Glass and Lykens each had two of Clearfield’s 11 hits.

The win was especially sweet for the Bison, who were knocked off by the third-seeded Owls 13-6 one year ago with a 19-hit offense against college-bound Thomas Summers and Orsich.

“We were favored to win, and they came in and put it to us, with the same pitcher,” Lansberry said.

Bacha, who will be Orsich’s roommate at Pitt-Bradford in the fall, didn’t have any support in the rematch, though only two of the five runs he allowed were earned. He struck out three and gave up six hits and two walks in four innings.

Orsich made sure the Owls wouldn’t enjoy a déjà vu celebration.

“I think he did take this game personally,” Lansberry said. “He got hit around quite a bit last year, but he’s improved a lot.”

Lansberry can only hope Orsich gives him a reason to check the Thesaurus one more time.

That would mean the Bison found a way to halt Punxsutawney’s 12-year domination of the district’s Class AAA championships.

BRADFORD — 0

Bryce Skaggs c 3000, Connor Vecellio cf-ss-cf 3000, Danny Manion ss-2b-p 3010, Andrew Bacha p-ss 3000, Isaac Gralak 3b 2000, Matt Moonan 1b 3010, Adam Cary lf-cf-lf 2000, Patrick Caskey 2b-rf-2b, Kyle Kirk rf-lf-rf 2000. TOTALS: 23 0 2 0.

CLEARFIELD — 9

Thayne Morgan ss 4110, Justin Fedder 2b 3011, Zane Morgan c 3220, Will Myers 3b 3111, Tommy Hazel pr 0000, Ty Bender rf 3110, Jake Sorbera rf 1000, Brandon Orsich p 0000, Eli Glass dh 3220, Jon Trimpey lf 3113, Logan Lykens 1b 2122, Reese Wilson cf 3001. TOTALS: 28 9 11 8.

Score by Innings

Bradford     000 000 0 – 0    2  2
Clearfield    011 331 x – 9  11  1
E – Vecellio, Gralak; Trimpey. LOB – Bradford 4; Clearfield . 2B – Trimpey. Sac – Fedder. SB – T. Morgan, Z. Morgan, Bender.

Pitching

Bradford – Bacha 4 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K; Manion 2 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 K.
Clearfield – Orsich 9 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K.
HB – Orsich 1 (Cary). PO – Orsich 1 (Moonan).
W – Orsich (7-1). L – Bacha.

Umpires – Tim Mahoney (plate), Bill Funk (first), Kenny Knepp (second) and James Slay (third).

Bison Scoreboard:

Date Opponent Score Record
3/29 CENTRAL 11 – 5 1 – 0
4/01 HUNTINGDON 3 – 1 2 – 0
4/04 BELLEFONTE ppd. 2 – 0
4/05 BELLEFONTE ppd. 2 – 0
4/06 BELLEFONTE 3 – 0 3 – 0
4/07 @ Tyrone ppd. 3 – 0
4/08 @ Punxsutawney 4 – 9 3 – 1
4/11 CURWENSVILLE ppd. 3 – 1
4/12 BALD EAGLE AREA ppd. 3 – 1
4/13 BALD EAGLE AREA 1 – 2 3 – 2
4/15 @ Penns Valley 3 – 4 3 – 3
4/18 PHILIPSBURG-OSCEOLA 4 – 2 4 – 3
4/19 @ Brookville 7 – 2 5 – 3
4/21 @ Central 0 – 6 5 – 4
4/23 @ Tyrone 7 – 0 6 – 4
4/26 @ Huntingdon 2 – 5 6 – 5
4/29 @ Bellefonte ppd. 6 – 5
5/02 TYRONE ppd. 6 – 5
5/03 @ Curwensville 13 – 0 7 – 5
5/04 TYRONE 6 – 4 8 – 5
5/05 @ Bald Eagle Area 2 – 5 8 – 6
5/09 @ The Kiski School cancelled 8 – 6
5/10 PENNS VALLEY 11 – 7 9 – 6
5/11 @ Bellefonte 3 – 4 9 – 7
5/13 @ Philipsburg-Osceola 0 – 5 9 – 8
5/17 DUBOIS 4 – 1 10 – 8
5/19 CURWENSVILLE 9 – 0 11 – 8
5/24 D9 AAA Semifinals
5/24 BRADFORD 9 – 0 12 – 8
5/26 D9 Finals
5/26 vs. Punxsy (at DuBois)
Alex Vezza Memorial Trout Stocking this Saturday
Lady Bison Open 9-AAA Playoffs at St. Marys

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