Beimel, Flying Dutch Present Big Challenge for Bison

HYDE — Keeping the score down and taking advantage of every opportunity to chase runners across the plate against St. Marys ace Nate Beimel will be the Clearfield Area High School baseball team’s demanding task against the defending champion in their District 9 Class AAAA semifinal at DuBois Thursday evening.

They’ll meet in a 6:30 start at Showers Field following the other semifinal between No. 1 seed Punxsutawney (9-9) and Bradford (5-13).

Schedule points gave the Chucks the top seed and relegated the Flying Dutch (10-9) to No. 2 and the Bison (11-9) to No. 3, setting up a rematch of last year’s title game.

That nail-biter ended with St. Marys scoring an unearned run in the bottom of the seventh inning for a 3-2 win and its first district championship since 2000.

The loss was a real heart-breaker for the Bison as Jake Sorbera allowed only three hits and one earned run in his duel with Beimel, who was not involved in the decision after exiting due to the 100-pitch limit in the sixth inning.

St. Marys has five other starters back in a lineup boasting a trio of .400-plus hitters and four others at .298 or higher.

“It will be a tough challenge for us,” Bison head coach Sid Lansberry said. “We’ve gotta play errorless defense and chip away at probably the best pitcher in the area.”

Beimel is 5-0 and also has two saves, but the 6-4 left-hander’s most impressive statistics are a dazzling 0.55 earned run average and 89 strikeouts in 38 innings.

The Columbia University commit has allowed only 17 hits and seven runs, three earned, while issuing 25 walks.

If the Bison can run up Beimel’s pitch count like they did a year ago, they probably would have to content with regular center fielder Brandon Sicheri, who is 4-2 with a 3.76 ERA.

Catcher Jake Meeker (.446, 13 RBIs), Beimel (.421, 19 RBIs) and Sicheri (.419) have been the big guns for the Flying Dutch, but they’ve had plenty of support with infielder/designated hitter Shane Price at .339 with 18 RBIs, third baseman Matt Belina at .304, infielder Kael Azzato and outfielder Connor Bressler at .302 and Garret Bauer at .298.

Lansberry isn’t sure if he’s calling on senior right-hander Eli Glass (4-2, 2.48 ERA) or junior left-hander Cade Walker (4-3, 3.16 ERA) to contend with the Flying Dutch and the .335 batting average.

Both are coming off shutouts, Glass one-hitting Curwensville in a five-inning win and Walker two-hitting DuBois for a victory that didn’t factor into the seedings because it came after last Wednesday’s deadline.

The Bison have a .286 batting average led by junior third baseman Hayden Williams at .419 with 26 hits and 12 RBIs, Glass at .350 with a team-high 21 RBIs, junior center fielder Nate Barr at .342 also with 26 hits and 12 RBIs and shortstop Caullin Reed at .313 with 26 hits and 18 RBIs.

Junior Allan Myers (.270, 12 RBIs) will be behind the plate, with sophomore Karson Rumsky at first base, freshman Kyle Elensky at second base and junior Harrison Peacock (.238, 13 RBIs) in right field.

Depending on who gets the call to start on the mound, Glass or Walker (.255, 14 RBIs) will be in left field.

Glass, Barr, Reed, Williams and Peacock started and Myers pinch-hit against Beimel and the Flying Dutch last year.

In addition to having near-identical records, the Bison and Flying Dutch have had very similar results against three of their four common opponents.

Clearfield defeated DuBois 8-0 and lost to Punxsutawney 6-5, while St. Marys swept the Beavers 5-2 and 15-3 and split with the Chucks, winning 8-7 and losing 5-4.

The Bison nipped Bradford 2-1, and the Flying Dutch lost two close games to the Owls, 5-4 and 10-8 in 12 innings.

Against Brookville, Clearfield rolled up a 22-12 win while St. Marys split with a 4-2 victory and an 8-7 loss.

Both could have much better records, the Flying Dutch coming out on the short end of six games decided by one or two runs and the Bison dropping five games by those margins.

The winner will play Punxsy or Bradford for the district crown next Wednesday at Showers Field, with the time to be announced.

Bison Scoreboard:

Date Opponent Score Record
3/25 @ Bald Eagle Area 10 – 1 1 – 0
3/28 @ Huntingdon 6 – 8 1 – 1
4/02 PHILIPSBURG-OSCEOLA 1 – 2 1 – 2
4/04 CURWENSVILLE 5 – 2 2 – 2
4/05 @ Tyrone ppd. 2 – 2
4/06 @ Tyrone 2 – 3, 9 inn. 2 – 3
4/08 PENNS VALLEY 6 – 2 3 – 3
4/09 BROOKVILLE 22 – 12 4 – 3
4/11 @ Central 10 – 4 5 – 3
4/16 BELLEFONTE ppd. 5 – 3
4/17 @ Bellefonte 0 – 8 5 – 4
4/18 BALD EAGLE AREA 4 – 2 6 – 4
4/23 HUNTINGDON 6 – 4 7 – 4
4/25 @ Philipsburg-Osceola 3 – 4 7 – 5
4/29 PUNXSUTAWNEY 5 – 6 7 – 6
4/30 TYRONE 3 – 13 7 – 7
5/03 @ Penns Valley 4 – 3 8 – 7
5/06 CENTRAL ppd. 8 – 7
5/07 CENTRAL 5 – 10 8 – 8
5/08 @ Bradford 2 – 1 9 – 8
5/09 BELLEFONTE 10 – 23 9 – 9
5/13 @ Curwensville ppd. 9 – 9
5/16 @ Curwensville 13 – 0 10 – 9
5/17 @ DuBois 8 – 0 11 – 9
5/23 District 9 AAAA Playoffs
5/23 vs. St. Marys @ DuBois

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