PUNXSUTAWNEY — The Punxsy 15 and 16 year old VFW squad lost to a tough Clearfield team, 23-8 over four innings, Sunday afternoon. With the win, Clearfield claimed the Indiana County title.
Punxsy came into the game off an impressive win over Phillipsburg Saturday. Punxsy won that game 12-0 off the bats of Anthany Faulk, who scored a triple, Bycen Paulinelli, who recorded a double, and Michael Klingensmith, who put one out of the park to help bring in a win for his squad.
Despite the final outcome Sunday, Punxsy got off to a good start. Paulinelli, Klingensmith and Cory Geer were all able to capitalize on Clearfield errors early in the contest. Klingensmith brought in the first run when the Clearfield outfield couldn't glove his fly ball to right field.
Christian Falgout scored another run with his crank to center field. Falgout had a solid day at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored.
Clayton Dale scored another run on Clearfield's fourth error of the inning. Matt Burkett brought in Punxsy's final run when he was walked. Punxsy had a 4-0 lead after its first at-bat.
Cole Kephart batted first for Clearfield. He was forced out 6-3 for the first out. Wyatt Westin batted after and was thrown out in similar fashion. Just when it looked like Punxsy had control of the game, the tide turned.
Clearfield was sparked by some two out lightning and saw back-to-back hits from Josh Kennedy and John Janocko.
Punxsy starting pitcher Dakota Byers then walked Sawyer Rowles and Curtis Collins.
Spencer Herrington then smacked a double, and Josh Sorbeara recorded a single.
Cole Kephart brought in the final three runs of the inning on an infield error when his grounder was mishandled. By the inning's end, Clearfield was on top, 6-4.
Punxsy tied the game in the second, with Falgout recording a double and Ruben Taylor smacking a triple.
After Punxsy's second go at the plate, Clearfield ran away with the game. Clearfield sent 15 batters to the plate, recording 10 hits and 10 runs.
"They're (Clearfield) disciplined hitters; they don't hit junk pitches; we couldn't get it across and they got little hits when they needed them," said Mike Klingensmith, Punxsy VFW manager.
Janocko, Rowles, Collins, Zach Timchak, Sorbeara, Kephart and Kennedy combined hits to give Clearfield the commanding 16-6 lead.
Punxsy did its best to battle back in the third. Matt Burkett reached base on a walk and was very aggressive on the bags. He stole third and home after Anthany Faulk advanced him a bag with a single.
Paulinelli brought in Punxsy's eighth and final run with his sac-fly to center field that scored Faulk.
Clearfield still had the 16-8 lead when it went to the plate for the third time. Punxsy shutdown Clearfield with a four-and-out to close the third inning.
Punxsy could not generate any offensive momentum in the fourth as it went down after only four batters took the plate.
Clearfield ended the game in the fourth inning off another offensive onslaught. Hits from Kennedy, Rowles, Timchak and Sorbeara plus walks to Janocko, Herrington and Kephart gave Clearfield a 15-run lead that instituted the mercy rule.
Clearfield won the title with an impressive 23-8 victory.