Philipsburg Legion holds off rally from Clearfield, in 8-7 win
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
By Andy Stine Sports Writer
PHILIPSBURG - The Philipsburg American Legion baseball team scored six runs in the first two innings, and a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth to squeak past Clearfield, 8-7, for their first win of the season on Monday evening at the Don Womer Baseball Complex.
For Clearfield, the loss was their ninth one-run loss between the high school and legion seasons as they dropped to 1-3 on the summer campaign.
Clearfield scored twice to start off the game in the first inning off Phils starting pitcher Jordan Miller. Spencer Herrington led off the game with an infield chopper for a hit, while Sawyer Rowles followed with a bunt single.
After Herrington and Rowles moved up a base on a passed ball, Curtis Collins reached on an error, which scored Herrington. Cole Kephart grounded out to score Rowles for an early 2-0 lead.
Miller continued to pitch two more frames and gave up three hits and struck out four batters before giving way to Matt Hample in the fourth inning.
"Jordan threw yesterday and didn't tell us before the game," said Philipsburg assistant coach Denny Johns. "That's the reason why he only threw three innings, and Matt came in and he threw the ball pretty well.
"To Clearfield's credit, they came out swinging the bat. They put pressure on us and they battled. They did a nice job and never quit tonight."
Vince McDowell had a one-out double in the bottom of the first off Clearfield pitcher Brandon Orsich, while Hample had a base hit to put runners at the corners. Nate Kerlin followed with an RBI groundout to shortstop.
Luther Harlow continued with the big inning as he crushed a two-out double to right-center field that brought home Hample to tie the game. Kyle Johns followed with a base hit to right field to score Harlow to take the lead.
The Phils once again scored three more times in the bottom of the second inning.
Derek Shaw reached on a bunt single, while Travis Arnold was hit by a pitch. Miller then doubled to center field, bringing Shaw home easily. An error on the center fielder also allowed Arnold to come home on the play, as well.
Miller was brought home later in the inning on a Hample fielder's choice to give the Phils a 6-2 lead.
Orsich settled down for the rest of the game as he tossed a complete game. He gave up six earned runs on eight hits, while walking three and whiffing five.
"For the first couple innings, he was just missing on some of the pitches," said Chiefs head coach Sid Lansberry. "Other than that, I thought he pitched well enough to win.
"I thought Brandon pitched well against a really strong lineup. I think he got better as the game went on. There's no shame in that."
With two outs in the top of the fourth inning, Zach Timchak walked and Josh Kennedy had a base hit. Orsich brought home both runners on a two-run double to left field to cut the Post 6 deficit to two.
Kephart brought in another run in the top of the fifth inning on a sacrifice fly to bring home Rowles.
Philipsburg was held off the board for the third, fourth and fifth innings as Orsich retired seven Phils batters in a row. But, they added a pair of needed insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Aaron Mason tripled over the Clearfield center fielder's head to lead off the inning, while Shaw singled to score Mason. Shaw advanced to second base on an errant pickoff attempt, and to third base on a wild pitch before trotting to the plate on a Miller groundout.
"If there is one negative to take away, it was the quick start and then we didn't score for three innings after that," said Coach Johns. "We need to keep the pressure on and we didn't do a good job of that, but Brandon deserves a lot of credit. He really got tough in those middle innings, and he deserves a lot of credit for shutting us down the way he did.
"(The runs in the sixth inning) were really big. We had the lower part of the order that got it started. Aaron hit that triple and we cashed him in, and we got another one after that. It turned out to be huge. It turned out that it was the difference of the ballgame."
Ty Bender reached on an error to lead off the top of the seventh inning, and moved over to second base on a groundout. Rowles also reached on an error on Post 437's third baseman, allowing Bender to score from second base, while Rowles went to second.
Then, Collins ripped a single to right field, which allowed Rowles to come home. But Hample buckled down as he got a pair of popouts to end the game.
Herrington, Rowles and Collins each had a pair of hits for Clearfield. Collins, Kephart and Orsich each drove in two runs.
Shaw had two hits and scored two runs for Philipsburg.
"That's a good solid lineup," said Lansberry. "They have a nice team. They have a lot of talent. I don't think we played badly at all. It's just disappointing to come close and not win again.
"I think eventually this team is going to catch on and start to win some games. We're hitting the ball much better this summer than we did last year. Last summer, our team batting average was under .200. It was the first summer with wood bats. I think they're starting to get used to them a little bit."
Clearfield hosts Mifflin County on Wednesday, while Philipsburg (1-1) visits Bellefonte this evening.
Herrington ss 4120, Rowles cf 4320, Collins 2b 4022, Kephart 3b 3002, Summers lf 4000, Timchak rf 2100, Kennedy eh 2110, Orsich p 3012, Lykens 1b 3010, Bender c 3100. Totals: 32-7-9-6.
Wilson ss-2b 4000, Zwick 2b 0000, McDowell 3b 2110, Hample eh-p 3111, Kerlin rf 3001, Harlow 1b 2111, Johns lf 3011, Williams lf 0000, Mason cf 2110, Martin rf 0000, Shaw c 3221, Arnold 2b-ss 1100, Miller p-eh-cf 3112. Totals: 26-8-8-7.
Score by Innings
Errors-Orsich 2, Rowles; Wilson, Shaw, Arnold, McDowell. LOB-Clearfield 7, Philipsburg 5. 2B-Collins, Orsich; McDowell, Harlow, Miller. 3B-Mason. SF-Kephart. HBP-Arnold 2 (by Orsich).
Clearfield: Orsich-6 IP, 8 H, 8 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 5 SO.
Philipsburg: Miller-3 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO; Hample-4 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 SO.
WP-Hample (1-0). LP-Orsich (0-2).