Claysburg wins Legion title
CLAYSBURG — En route to compiling a 26-1 record and winning the Cambria County American Legion baseball championship this summer, Claysburg put together a balanced batting attack in which every player contributed.
Claysburg did so again Monday night on its home field, forging a 12-hit attack led by two hits and two RBIs apiece from both third baseman Kyle Glass and outfielder Lleyton Kling, two hits and an RBI from second baseman Connor Oakes, and a pair of hits from designated Hunter Emerick, to win the league title with a 10-4 victory over defending league champion Bedford.
Both teams will advance to the Pennsylvania Region 7 Tournament that begins Friday and extends through next Tuesday in Latrobe.
“It’s always a good battle when you play Bedford, and we came out and battled tonight,” Claysburg manager Dave Aungst said. “We got contributions from everybody. Wherever we put these guys in the lineup, no matter who we put in, we have confidence in them. From the top to the bottom of the lineup, they have all played well, and they’ve come through when we’ve needed them to (do so).”
Sending 10 batters to the plate, Claysburg jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning and never looked back. Center fielder Tanner Hunt started the uprising with a single to right field, and moved to second on Oakes’ one-out single to left. After first baseman Jacob Eberlin walked to load the bases, Kling scorched a single up the middle to score Hunt with the first run of the inning.
Glass followed by bouncing a single into right field, scoring Oakes and Eberlin and giving Claysburg a 3-0 lead. Kling went to third on the play, and, after a walk to shortstop Caleb Gampe loaded the bases, Kling scored the fourth run of the inning on pitcher Corey Chamberlain’s single to left field.
“We knew their pitchers were going to throw strikes,” said Glass, who will be a senior at Claysburg-Kimmel High School this fall. “We came out aggressive, and we came out ready to hit the ball.”
After Bedford trimmed the Claysburg lead to 4-1 in the top of the third inning on Jared Dowey’s triple and Drew Hall’s single, Claysburg answered with a run in the bottom of the inning when Eberlin walked, stole second, and scored on Kling’s single to right-center field to give Claysburg a 5-1 lead.
Bedford drew to within 5-2 in the top of the fourth on singles by Isaac Whysong, Nate Semanek and Mercury Swaim, along with a Claysburg error that allowed Whysong to score, but Claysburg promptly scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to take a 9-2 stranglehold.
Claysburg batted around in the inning and benefited from three walks, a hit batsman with the bases loaded that forced in one run, RBI singles by Hunter Klotz and Connor Oakes, and a run-producing sacrifice fly by Eberlin.
The right-handed Chamberlain, who will be a junior at Claysburg-Kimmel High School this fall, picked up the pitching victory by tossing five innings, allowing seven hits, just two runs, and striking out four.
“Corey is going to battle every time out,” Aungst said of Chamberlain. “He’s got heart out on the mound, and he’s going to give you a chance to win any time that he has the ball.”
Bedford (19-6) stranded 10 runners on base, a fact that its manager, Jordan Mills, pointed to as an essential element in the game.
“I think that the difference in the game was that they took advantage of their situations, and we did not,” Mills said. “We stranded some runners on base, and that hurt us. If we scratch some runs across there, it might have given us a different mind-set.”
After Claysburg added a run in the bottom of the sixth when Chamberlain drew a leadoff walk and eventually scored on a groundout by Jordan Berkstresser, Bedford scored a couple consolation runs in the top of the seventh when Austin Price, Ryan Mowry, Whysong and Semanek drew walks to account for one run, and the second scored on Trenten Mellott’s groundout.
Both teams now move on to the regional, where Claysburg hopes to continue its success and punch its first-ever berth in the state tournament.
“We’re starting fresh, we’re starting new,” Aungst said. “Things have been working for us this year. Hopefully, we’ll go out and have a good showing.”
BEDFORD (4): Dowey cf-p 311, Hall 2b 401, Price 3b 120, Mowry ss-p-ss 301, Frazier ss 000, Whysong 1b 312, Semanek c 301, Iseminger p 000, Swaim rf-p-3b 301, Mellott rf 200, Leidy lf 000, Dull dh 300. Totals –25-4-7.
CLAYSBURG (10): Kling lf-rf 412, Glass 3b 312, Gampe ss 311, Klotz c 401, Chamberlain p-2b-1b 211, Berkstresser cr-rf 110, Emerick dh 322, Hunt cf-p-cf 000, Muthler rf-2b-1b 300, Oakes 2b 312, Eberlin 1b 020, Dibert ph 101. Totals — 27-10-12.
SCORE BY INNINGS
Bedford 001 100 2–4 7 0
Claysburg 041 401 X–10 12 3
E–Gampe, Chamberlain, Oakes. 3B–Dowey. RBI–Hall, Semanek, Mellott, Kling 2, Glass 2, Klotz, Chamberlain, Muthler, Berkstresser, Oakes, Eberlin. SB–Eberlin, Glass, Price, Mowry. CS –Klotz (Semanek to Hall). SAC–Iseminger. SF–Eberlin. HBP–Muthler by Swaim. LOB–Bedford 10, Claysburg 9. DP–Claysburg turned two (Chamberlain to Klotz to Eberlin); (Hunt to Muthler).
BEDFORD; Iseminger (L)1 1/3IP, 6H, 4R, 4ER, 3BB, 1SO; Mowry 1 2/3IP, 2H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 1SO; Swaim 2/3IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 0 SO; Dowey 2 1/3IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 1BB, 1SO.
CLAYSBURG: Chamberlain (W) 5IP, 7H, 2R, 1ER, 2BB, 4SO; Hunt 1+IP, 0H, 2R, 2ER, 4BB, 0SO; Eberlin 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 1BB, 0SO. WP–Hunt.
Umpires: Andy Lubert (plate); Tony Kline (bases).
Records: Bedford (19-6); Claysburg (26-1).