PUNXSUTAWNEY — An outstanding pitching performance by Clearfield American Legion southpaw Bryce Timko went for naught Friday evening as Punxsutawney/Brookville right-hander Isaac Stouffer was equally tough to register the 2-1 win at Rich Kuntz Field in the winner’s bracket final of the Jefferson County League Playoffs.
Both hurlers were brilliant through five innings, with Timko allowing only one hit while the Chiefs were managing just a pair of singles off Stouffer.
In the top of the sixth, Clearfield (15-6) couldn’t cash a leadoff single by Harrison Peacock. Pinch-runner Alec Graham was forced at second by Hayden Williams, who was out at the same base when he had to hold up on Thayne Morgan’s fly ball that fell in short right center.
Then, the Punxsutawney/Brookville bats came alive, starting with Alec Greenbelt’s seeing-eye grounder up the middle.
Seth Dunkley’s sacrifice bunt pushed him to second base, and Stouffer followed by whacking a double to left center for the first run.
One out later, Tanner LaBenne rolled a single into center field for what proved to be a crucial insurance run.
The Chiefs didn’t go away quietly in the seventh as opposite-field doubles by Eli Glass and Seth Bumbarger had the tying runs in scoring position with one out.
Glass lofted a fly to deep left center but had to stop at third base after checking to see if Bamberger’s liner to the right center gap was not caught.
Stouffer got the second out on an infield pop-up but lost his shutout when the throw on Timko’s bouncer past the mound was off-target.
The Chiefs’ comeback bid, and their six-game winning streak, ended on a groundout.
Stouffer pitched a five-hitter with three strikeouts and one walk.
Timko, whose pitch count was just 59 going to the sixth inning, was every bit as impressive. He gave up only four hits while fanning four and did not issue a free pass.
Glass had two hits for the Chiefs, who will have beat DuBois in the 6 p.m. loser’s bracket final at the Lawrence Township Recreation Park Sunday to get another crack at Punxsutawney/Brookville (11-2) in the championship game Tuesday.
DuBois eliminated Curwensville, 11-3, Friday evening.
CLEARFIELD — 1
Thayne Morgan rf 3000, Zane Morgan lf 3000, Nate Barr c 3000, Eli Glass ss 3120, Seth Bumbarger 1b 2010, Reese Wilson cf 3010, Bryce Timko p 2000, Allan Myers eh 3000, Harrison Peacock 3b 2010, Alec Graham pr 0000, Hayden Williams 2b 2000. TOTALS: 26 1 5 0.
PUNXSUTAWNEY/BROOKVILLE — 2
Seth Dunkle ss 2000, Isaac Stouffer p 3111, Joey Dipietro c 3000, Tanner LaBenne 1b 3021, Logan Johnston 3b 2000, Cole LaBenne lf 0000, Aaron Park dh 2000, Tyler Park cf 1000, Chase Palmer rf 2000, Alec Greenblatt 2b 2110. TOTALS: 20 2 4 2.
Score by Innings
Clearfield 000 000 1 – 1 5 2
Punxsutawney/Brookville 000 002 x – 2 4 2
E – Barr, Peacock; Dunkle, Palmer. DP – Clearfield 1 (Peacock, Bumbarger and Glass). LOB – Clearfield 6, Punxsutawney/Brookville 3. 2B – Glass, Bumbarger; Stouffer. Sac – Timko; Dunkle, Johnston.
Clearfield – Timko 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 k.
Punxsutawney/Brookville – Stouffer 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K.
W – Stouffer. L – Timko (2-2).
Umpires – Dave Neal (plate) and Jerry Neal (bases).