HUNTINGDON — A pair of tainted runs in the bottom of the sixth inning gave Huntingdon an 8-6 Mountain League win over Clearfield in schoolboy baseball action at War Vets Field Thursday afternoon.
Nick Troha led off with a bunt single and wound up at second on a throwing error. He moved to third on Brady Handy’s sacrifice bunt and stayed there when a pop-up by Jake Wagner fell between three Bison fielders for a hit.
The Bison were unable to cut down Troha at the plate on Rece Ritchey’s grounder, and Wagner sprinted to third when the ball rolled away on the throw home. Draven Zook followed with a groundout that drove in the insurance run.
“We shot ourselves in the foot that inning,” Clearfield coach Sid Lansberry said. “We should have been out of it with no runs scored.”
Junior Rece Ritchey, a hard-throwing University of Virginia commit, then came on in relief and saved the win for classmate Issac Snare, walking Hayden Williams with one out before fanning the next two Bison.
Snare relied on a slow curve and knuckleball to keep the Bison hitters off stride and getting under his offerings, though they did get to him for nine hits and had multiple baserunners in every inning except a 1-2-3 fourth.
“The bottom line is too many pop-ups (3) and fly balls (7),” Lansberry said. “I think we did a good job being patient, but we couldn’t keep the weight back. He’s the right kind of pitcher to throw against us.”
That didn’t appear to be the case in the first inning.
After Snare walked Caullin Reed and plunked Nate Barr, Eli Glass ripped a single to right and Harrison Peacock lined a hit off the Huntingdon hurler’s foot for a run-scoring hit.
Allan Myers’ wicked liner was speared by Bearcat shortstop Nick Gearhart, but Williams’ grounder turned into two runs because of an error on the double play attempt.
Huntingdon (1-2) got two runs back in their first look at Hunter Dixon. Wagner doubled to center field and Ritchey beat out a swinging bunt to put runners on the corners. The RBIs were logged by Zook on a groundout and Zack Peck on a line single to right.
Two errors and Barr’s two-out single to left had Clearfield (1-1) on top 4-2 after two frames.
The third inning proved pivotal as the Bearcats scored four runs, all crossing with two outs, on five hard-hit singles. The big one was Troha’s shot to left that cleared the sacks due to a misplay. Handy followed with an RBI single.
Dixon settled down and faced only six batters in the next two innings before Bison mistakes in the sixth cost him the decision. He struck out four and allowed 12 hits, two walks and five earned runs.
“He threw better as the game went on,” Lansberry said of the sophomore left-hander’s outing.
The Bison did draw even with singletons in the fifth and sixth innings on two-out, RBI singles by Hunter Hipps and Glass.
Then, the Bearcats countered with the deciding runs.
“We let them off the hook in some innings,” Lansberry said. “We could have had more runs than we had. But we just didn’t get it done.”
Glass and Peacock had two hits apiece for the Bison, who will play their home opener Tuesday against Philipsburg-Osceola that will be the first of nine games at the Bison Sports Complex in April.
Mountain League standings – Philipsburg-Osceola 2-0, Tyrone 2-0, Central 2-1, Clearfield 1-1, Bald Eagle Area 1-1, Huntingdon 1-2, Bellefonte 0-2, Penns Valley 0-2.
CLEARFIELD — 6
Caullin Reed ss 3210, Nate Barr cf 3111, Eli Glass 1b 4121, Harrison Peacock 3b 4121, Allan Myers c 4010, Hayden Williams 2b 3011, Hunter Dixon p 0000, Hunter Hipps dh 4011, Nick Domico rf 4000, Karson Rumsky lf 3100. TOTALS: 32 6 9 5.
HUNTINGDON — 8
Jake Wagner cf 4230, Rece Ritchey rf-p 4111, Draven Zook lf 4012, Casey Conner 1b 4110, Zack Peck 3b 3121, Nick Gearhart ss 2110, Issac Snare p 0000, Tyson Cook rf 0000, Jackson Ritchey dh 3000, Nick Troha 2b 3222, Brady Handy c 2011. TOTALS: 29 8 12 7.
Score by Innings
Clearfield 310 011 0 – 6 9 3
Huntingdon 204 002 x – 8 12 5
E – Reed, Dixon, Rumsky; Peck 2, Gearhart, Troha 2. PB – Handy. LOB – Clearfield 8; Huntingdon 5. 2B – Wagner. Sac – Handy. CS – Hipps (by Snare); Zook (by Dixon).
Clearfield – Dixon 6 IP, 12 H, 8 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 2 K.
Huntingdon – Snare 6 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K; R. Ritchey 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K.
HB – Snare 1 (Barr).
W – Snare. L – Dixon (0-1). Sv – R. Ritchey.
Date Opponent Score Record
3/25 @ Bald Eagle Area 10 – 1 1 – 0
3/28 @ Huntingdon 6 – 8 1 – 1
4/05 @ Tyrone
4/08 PENNS VALLEY
4/11 @ Central
4/18 BALD EAGLE AREA
4/25 @ Philipsburg-Osceola
5/03 @ Penns Valley
5/08 @ Bradford
5/09 @ Bellefonte
5/13 @ Curwensville
5/16 @ DuBois