CLEARFIELD — The Clearfield Chiefs, who were surprise winner’s bracket finalists, exited from the Pennsylvania American Legion Division I Region 7 Tournament with a 2-2 record after a seven-inning, 11-1 loss to Cambria County League champion Claysburg at the Lawrence Township Recreation Park Tuesday.
Jarrett Imler, who was the No. 1 pitcher for the Central High School team that won the PIAA Class AAA title last month, limited the Chiefs to seven hits, most of them coming after they were in a 9-1 hole.
Pitching to contact, the right-hander recorded only 83 pitches in his route-going performance, logging only two strikeouts with two walks.
“He’s a very efficient pitcher for this age level,” Clearfield manager Sid Lansberry said. “He didn’t throw it by anybody and didn’t have many strikeouts. That’s the way he pitched in high school. He had a good defense behind him, and they went on to win the state title.
“We had some hard shots right at people, but you‘ve gotta do more than that.”
Reese Wilson homered to left field with one out in the sixth inning for Clearfield’s run.
Eli Glass doubled and singled for the Chiefs’ only hits through the first five innings.
Claysburg (27-2) coupled 14 hits with six walks for their second Mercy Rule victory in three elimination games following an opening 6-5 loss to Hempfield East.
“We had a couple errors that helped them along too,” noted Lansberry, who added a major problem was not enough strikes from the three Chief hurlers.
Five of the runs allowed by starter and loser Tommy Hazel, Bryce Timko and Glass were unearned.
“Our pitchers got behind hitters, all three of them, and you can’t win that way, especially against a good team that hits the ball well.”
Red-hot Casey Winters, who didn’t play high school ball as a Blair County Christian Academy student, fronted the Claysburg offense with three hits, one a home run he absolutely crushed.
The rocket cleared the tree behind the center field fence, quite likely the longest wood bat blast ever at the LTRP Field.
That staked Imler to a 2-0 lead in the first inning, and Winters added a double and a run-scoring single to pad his four-game totals to nine hits in 12 official at-bats with three home runs and a whopping 11 RBIs.
Chase Smith, Ryan Leonard and Larry Corle registered RBI hits in the third inning before Timko relieved Hazel.
Timko surrendered a solo home run to Cory Houck in the fourth and an RBI single by Alex Hoenstine in the fifth.
Glass worked the last two innings, giving up two runs in the seventh, with two-out hard ground singles by Winters and Luke Eberhart producing the RBIs that made it a walk-off win.
Hoenstine, Corle and Cory Houck, who scored four runs, had two hits apiece for
Claysburg will have the opportunity to atone for the first-round setback to Hempfield East in an 11 a.m. elimination game, with the winner to meet Beech Creek at 2 p.m. for the tourney crown.
Clearfield’s other loss was 7-4 to Beech Creek in that winner‘s bracket finale.
Neither of the Chiefs’ conquerors give away many, if any, outs.
“Beech Creek and Claysburg were the two best teams going in, we knew that,” Lansberry said. “We just ran into two pretty good opponents and didn’t play our best.
“It was disappointing in that way, but looking at the whole season, we ended up 11-9, which is a good year with the competition we play. We beat DuBois four times out of seven, which is an accomplishment.
“And we won two games in the regional, so that‘s pretty good overall.”
CLEARFIELD — 1
Thayne Morgan 3b-ss 4010, Reese Wilson cf 4111, Seth Bumbarger 1b 3010, Eli Glass ss-p 2020, Ty Bender c 2000, Bryce Timko rf-p 2000, Harrison Peacock 3b 1010, Brandon Orsich dh 1000, Tommy Hazel p-rf 1000, Alec Graham rf 1000, Nate Barr lf-2b 3000, Justin Fedder 2b 2000, Allan Myers lf 1010. TOTALS: 27 1 7 1.
CLAYSBURG — 11
Alex Hoenstine ss 5121, Cory Houck dh 4421, Chase Smith cf 3211, Casey Winters c 4233, Josh McKnight 1b 2011, Luke Eberhart 1b 1011, Dakota Chamberlain 4010, Ryan Leonard rf 4111, Aden McMonagle rf 0000, Mike Speck lf 2100, Joel Musser lf 1000, Larry Corle 2b 4021. TOTALS: 34 11 14 10.
Score by Innings
Clearfield 000 001 0 – 1 7 2
Claysburg 205 110 2 – 11 14 0
E – Morgan. LOB – Clearfield 7; Claysburg 10. 2B – Glass; Smith, Winters. HR – Winters. SF – McKnight. SB – Hoenstine, Houck 2.
Clearfield – Hazel 2-2/3 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 0 K; Timko 2-1/3 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K; Glass 1-2/3 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 0 K.
Claysburg – Jarrett Imler 9 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K.
WP – Timko 1, Glass 1.
W – Imler. L – Hazel (1-1).
Umpires – Dave Neal (plate) and Scott Viehdorfer (bases).