HYDE — Although the 2021 season has not exactly played out as expected, the Clearfield Bison still are coming onto the baseball diamond confident, and ready to play. The final week of the season began on Monday afternoon when the Central Dragons rolled in for a Mountain League contest that always brings out the competitive nature of the rivalry.
This day, however, the competition was lopsided, because the Dragons showed exactly why they only have two losses on the season. In one inning, they saw their entire lineup come to the plate, and bring double-digit runs around the bases, more than enough to pin a 16-2 loss on the Bison that ended after only five innings.
It was the Dragons that started the scoring in the first inning. With two outs on the board and one on base, Hunter Smith connected on an RBI-double into left field, bringing Hunter Klotz around the bases for the opening run. Clearfield answered back in the bottom half of the inning, also on an RBI-double. Kyle Elensky would deliver an 0-2 pitch into center field, bringing around Morgen Billotte to tie it up.
One inning later, Central plated three runs to take the lead for good.
With two outs and a pair of runners on, Paxton Kling waited for his pitch, and connected deep into center field. Both runners came around, and the two RBI-double allowed the Dragons to take the advantage that they would never let go. Another RBI-double followed, this one from Klotz, to make the score 4-1 in the second, a lead that the Dragons would never surrender from then on.
However, the ultimate collapse in the game came in the third inning, when the Dragons went through their entire lineup, and plated 11 runs.
An RBI-single from Hunter Smith started the scoring, then a fielding error one batter later added another. Jeff Hoenstine then added another two with a blast into center field. Suddenly the score went from manageable, to out of range. Hoenstine remained at first when the first out finally got recorded, but Kling was not about to become the second one. Staring down a 1-1 pitch, the swing connected, and the sound of the bat told the story. The line drive shot went deep into left field, and cleared the bases on the two-run homer, suddenly making the score 10-1.
Still one out on the board, Central added another pair of runs with a two RBI-single from Jonah Snowberger, and an RBI-single from Parker Gregg made it a baker’s dozen runs for the Dragons. A bases-loaded walk and a fly out in the inning would complete the 11-run tally, as the Bison had four pitchers on the mound during the inning.
Ryan Gearhart got tagged with the loss on the afternoon, going only two innings, but giving up seven runs and striking out one. In all, Clearfield only recorded three strikeouts on the afternoon. For the Dragons, Devon Boyles got credited with the win, going two innings but only giving up one run, while striking out five.
Clearfield got one run back in the bottom of the third when Nick Domico blasted a solo home run over the left field wall, but the Dragons answered right back in the fourth when Klotz hit his own solo shot over the right field wall. When neither team added runs in the fifth inning, the Mercy Rule officially ended the game.
Hoping to rebound, Clearfield (6-10-1) will be back on their home field on Tuesday when they host DuBois.
SCORE BY INNING
Central 13(11) 10 – 16 13 1
Clearfield 101 00 – 2 4 1
Central – 16
Paxton Kling-SS 5224, Hunter Klotz-C 3232, Devon Boyles-P/3B 4120, Hunter Smith-1B 2211, Jonah Snowberger-DH 4222, Tanner Hall-2B 2311, Parker Gregg-LF 4112, Tyler Helsel-CF 2000, Jeff Hoenstine-PH 1113, Leyton Kling-RF 2101, Garrett Veckov-PH/RF 1000, Dalton Metzger-CR 0100. TOTALS 30 16 13 16.
Clearfield – 2
Morgen Billotte-LF/SS 2110, Nolan Barr-2B/P/3B 2000, Kyle Elensky-SS/P 3011, Blake Prestash-3B/P 2000, Karson Rumsky-CF 3010, Nick Domico-1B 3111, Matt Bailor-C 2000, Hunter Dixon-DH 1000, Cole Bloom-RF 0000, Shane Coudriet-PH/RF 1000. TOTALS 19 2 4 2.
2B: Klotz, Smith, P. Kling/Elensky
HR: Klotz, P. Kling/Domico
HBP: Hall, Smith
SB: Klotz, Hall, P. Kling
Central: Boyles-2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 SO, 5 BB; Hall-1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 SO, 0 BB; Oakes-2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 SO, 0 BB.
Clearfield: Gearhart-2 IP, 5 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 1 SO, 2 BB; Barr-0.1 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 0 SO, 1 BB; Prestash-0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 SO, 2 BB; Elensky-2.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 SO, 0 BB.