Clearfield 9 and 10s down Bellefonte to win District 5 title|
Friday, July 06, 2012
By Andy Stine Sports Writer
Baseball can be a very funny game. At the Little League level, the team that has more hits and commits less errors is more than likely the winner and a major deciding factor.
That wasn't the case on Thursday evening at Kurtz Field. Bellefonte had nine hits and had three errors, while Clearfield had six hits and had five miscues.
But, some timely hitting in key situations helped Clearfield to two big innings as they held off Bellefonte, 9-6, in the District 5 Little League 9 and 10-year-old Championship.
After the last out was recorded, both teams were recognized for their efforts. Clearfield was presented a District 5 Championship banner and the players did a victory lap.
To top it all off, they gave their manager Brian Barr the traditional "championship shower", which he admittedly said it felt, "pretty good".
"It's a big surprise," said Barr. "We were hoping to just go into districts and just win a couple games.
"Luckily, we've been scoring a lot of runs. Pitching is good, but we still have some work to do on our defense. Besides that, we're pretty pleased."
Clearfield starting pitcher Hayden Williams pitched about as efficienly as a pitcher can get in the first inning. He sat Bellefonte down in order on just seven pitches. However in the second inning, Williams ran into a little trouble.
After Colton Burd and Ben MacAfee reached on errors to start the second inning, Seth Shuey hit into a fielder's choice erasing MacAfee from the base paths. Burd came home on the play to give Bellefonte a 1-0 lead.
Shuey was thrown out when the next batter singled, as tried to advance to third base. After another single to put runners at the corners, Williams got a strikeout to get out of the jam with only minimal damage.
After just 40 pitches from Williams, Barr elected to give Harrison Peacock the ball. Peacock inherited runners on second and third base with two outs in the third inning. After a walk, he got Shuey out on a bouncer back to the mound.
In the bottom of the third, two walks and a runner that reached on an error loaded the bases for Peacock.
Peacock delivered on a 2-1 pitch off Bellefonte starting pitcher Ashton Wetzler that was drilled to the gap in left-center field, clearing the bases and giving Clearfield a 3-1 lead.
"Their starting pitcher was the best we've seen," said Barr. "He got a little wild at the end, but I was worried with the velocity and he had a curveball. He was the best we've seen by far."
"Every game, it's been the bottom of the order drawing walks and the top of our lineup are getting the hits.
"Tonight was the same thing as always. A couple of walks and a ball hit in the gap and we were on the board. If Harrison doesn't hit that bases-clearing double, they're still winning."
Bellefonte notched three runs in the fourth inning on three hits to retake the lead. With the bases loaded and two outs, Peacock got a fielder's choice to end the inning with his team only down one run.
But, Clearfield wouldn't be denied in the bottom of the fourth inning. After a leadoff strikeout, a pair of walks and a single loaded the bases for Andrew Lopez.
Lopez belted a double into right field that scored two runs to give Clearfield a 5-4 advantage, a lead they wouldn't give back.
Not to be outdone, Nathan Barr hit a single to drive in Hugh Brickley and Lopez. The next batter, Williams, hit a single to right field to bring in Barr and wound up at third base on an error by the Bellefonte right fielder.
He came home on a throwing error in the next plate appearance to give Clearfield a 9-4 lead after four innings.
Bellefonte added a run apiece in the fifth and sixth innings, but Peacock settled down and threw strikes when he needed to. He got the final out on a pop fly to Lopez to clinch the championship.
Clearfield advanced to the sectional tournament in Huntingdon, which will begin on Tuesday at a time to be determined.
"We haven't played our best game yet," said Coach Barr. "If we can make the routine plays, we would've won 9-1. Once we start playing good defense, we'll be playing our best games."
Funk ss 4031, Grey 2b-p-2b 4111, Fisher c 4010, Burd cf-p-lf 2200, MacAfee 3b 1001, Shuey lf-p 3001, Gilham lf 1000, Shawley 1b 3010, Marsh 1b 1110, McMaster rf 3010, Horner rf 0000, Wetzler p-cf-2b-cf 4210. Totals: 30-6-9-4.
Brickley cf 3110, Lopez 1b 4122, Barr c-ss 4212, Williams p-c 2211, Peacock ss-p 3013, Hipps rf 1000, Pallo 2b 2000, Kline lf 1000, Ryan lf 1100, Wain 3b 0100, Lezzer 3b 0100. Totals: 21-9-6-8.
Score by Innings
Bellefonte 010 311-6 9 3
Clearfield 003 60x-9 6 5
Errors-Grey, Horner, Burd; Wain, Lopez, Pallo 2, Barr. LOB-Bellefonte 12, Clearfield 6. 2B-Funk; Lopez, Peacock. SAC-Horner; Brickley. SB-Grey, Burd.
Bellefonte: Wetzler-3 1/3 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 8 SO; Burd-0+ IP, 4 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO; Grey-2/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 SO; Shuey-1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO.
Clearfield: Williams-2 2/3 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO; Peacock-3 1/3 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 1 SO.