Clarion Downs Berlin Brothersvalley 4-3, Advances To PIAA Quarterfinals (06/07/2017)
(By Kenn Staub)
The Clarion Bobcats opened the PIAA playoffs on Monday with a come from behind victory over the Berlin Brothersvalley Mountaineers at Showers Field in DuBois. Clarion’s only runs came in a fifth inning outburst and proved to be just enough to secure a 4-3 win, allowing them to advance into the state quarterfinal round of play.
Berlin Brothersvalley’s lead-off hitter opened the game by doubling down the third base line and then scoring from third on an infield sacrifice, staking the Mountaineers to a 1-0 advantage. After a scoreless second inning, the Mountaineers parlayed four singles in the top of the third into a 3-0 lead. Neither team could plate a run, in the fourth and Berlin Brothersvalley held onto their three run lead going into the bottom of the fifth.
Senior Dominic Fleming started the Bobcats’ fifth inning rally with a one out single up the middle to center field, advancing to second on an infield single by Junior Spencer Miller. Fleming and Miller each moved up a base on a passed ball and were standing on third and second respectively when senior Ryan Anthony stroked another single, scoring them both to cut the Mountaineer’s lead to 3-2.
Ryan Anthony was perched atop second as the result throwing error on the previous play and scored to tie the game at 3-3 when his brother, senior Reed Anthony, reached base on an error. Reed Anthony proceeded to score from first on junior Sterling Conner’s double to the right-center field gap, giving the Bobcats’ a 4-3 by inning’s end.
After a relatively quiet sixth inning, Clarion put the game away when pitcher Reed Anthony stymied the Berlin Brothersvalley side in the top of the seventh.
The double by Conner (1-3) was Clarion’s only extra base rap of the game. Junior Cam Craig (2-3) and freshman Nate Datko (2-3) each hit two singles, with Reed Anthony (1-3), Ryan Anthony (1-3), Fleming, and Miller connecting for 1 apiece. Ryan Anthony had 2 RBI. Reed Anthony and Conner each were credited with plating a run.
Conner started the game on the mound for Clarion, throwing 1 2/3 innings and striking out 1. He was relieved by Ryan Anthony who pitched an inning-and-a-third and struck out one. Reed Anthony pitched the final four innings of the game, striking out 4 on his way to earning the win.
The Clarion Bobcats (19-3) will next play the Elk County Catholic Crusaders (19-5), who earned a quarterfinal berth with a 7-4 victory over the WPIAL champion Jeanette Jayhawks on Tuesday. This District 9 match-up is scheduled for Thursday, June 8th, at Showers Field in DuBois.
(Thanks to Kenn Staub for this article and to Christie Datko for the photos. KEEP IT GOING, CATS!!!!)