PUNXSUTAWNEY — Allan Myers and Kyle Elensky drove in runs in the top of the seventh inning and reliever Nate Barr came on to save the win for Hunter Dixon as the Clearfield American Legion Post 6 baseball team slipped past Punxsutawney 8-7 at Rich Kuntz Memorial Field Monday evening.
The Chiefs overcame a very uncharacteristic eight errors to draw within a half-game of first place in the tight Jefferson County League race.
Punxsy is 9-2 with one game remaining while Clearfield is 8-2 with two games left against Marion Center, one booked for Thursday at 10 a.m.
Beating the Post 62 team for the second time in three meetings gives the Chiefs the tie-breaker in the event of a dead heat, which would be important for home field in the upcoming championship playoffs.
Clearfield held a 6-0 lead after scoring five runs in the top of the fourth inning.
Walks to Elensky and Matt Bailor around a single by Dixon had the bases loaded with two outs. Following an error by Punxsy starter Alec Greenblatt, Barr singled home a run and Williams singled for a pair of RBIs and then scored on a triple by Eli Glass.
However, the hosts got those runs back in the lower half, thanks to four misplays by the Chiefs, and went in front 7-6 on two more unearned runs in the sixth inning.
Dixon was staring at a loss despite surrendering only four hits and one earned run. He had struck out seven, walked three and hit two batters.
The left-hander emerged with the win, though, when the Chiefs rallied in the last inning.
Williams touched off the comeback with his third consecutive hit and stole second before Myers belted a double to tie the score. Elensky came through in the clutch with the game-winning hit, a two-out single that plated Myers and pinned the loss on Seth Dunkle, who had faced only six batters in the previous two innings.
Barr began his save with a strikeout but hit Isaac Stouffer, who had been plunked twice by Dixon. Then, Barr induced a grounder by Tanner LaBenne that shortstop Williams turned into a game-ending double play.
Glass, who has registered a hit in every game, and Barr had two safeties apiece.
Greenblatt had two hits for Punxsy.
CLEARFIELD — 8
Nate Barr ss-p 4121, Hayden Williams 3b-ss 3332, Eli Glass cf 4021, Allan Myers c 3111, Morgan Billotte 1b-2b 4000, Kyle Elensky 2b-3b 2111, Blake Prestash lf 4000, Hunter Dixon p-1b 2110, Matt Bailor rf 2100. TOTALS: 28 8 10 6.
PUNXSUTAWNEY — 7
Seth Dunkle ss-p 3000, Daren Byers cf 4000, Alec Greenblatt p-2b 4120, Isaac Stouffer 3b 1100, Tanner LaBenne 1b 4100, Logan Johnston eh 2011, Adison Neal c 2211, Cole LaBenne lf 3100, Chase Palmer 2b-ss 3100, Colton Adamson rf 1000, Owen Smith ph-rf 2001. TOTALS: 29 7 4 3.
Score by Innings
Clearfield 100 500 2 – 8 10 8
Punxsutawney 000 502 0 – 7 4 1
E – Barr, Williams 3, Dixon 2, Bailor; Greenblatt. DP – Clearfield 2 (Barr, Elensky and Billotte; Williams and Dixon); Punxsutawney 2 (Byers and T. LaBenne; Stouffer and T. LaBenne). 2B – Myers; Johnston. 3B – Glass. SB – Barr, Williams, Glass; Neal, C. LaBenne. CS – Barr (by Neal).
Clearfield – Dixon 6 IP, 4 H, 7 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 7 K; Barr 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K.
Punxsutawney – Greenblatt 4 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 5 BB, 4 K; Dunkle 3 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K.
HB – Dixon 2 (Stouffer 2), Barr 1 (Stouffer). WP – Greenblatt 1.
W – Dixon (5-1). L – Dunkle. Sv – Barr (1).