The Comeback Bulldogs.
The word comeback describes what the Claysburg entry in the Cambria County Baseball League had to do all regular season and in particular in the playoffs.
In order to get stay alive in the playoffs, Claysburg had to rally in the seventh inning from a 4-3 deficit on Friday in a 7-4 win.
The Bulldogs completed the comeback in the playoffs by coming from behind and holding off Bedford, 3-2, in the championship game, Sunday.
Both teams advance to the Western Pennsylvania Baseball League Championship Tournament starting on Friday at Hollidaysburg. Claysburg will play at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, while Bedford will play at 2:30 p.m.. Claysburg will play the loser of the Latrobe/Bushy Run game that is to be played on Tuesday, while Bedford will get the winner.
Sunday’s game was a tight one from the start, and four of the game’s five runs were scored in the first two innings.
Bedford got on top in the first as Jared Dowey reached base on a throwing error. He stole second and went to third on ground out by Trenten Mellott. Andy Lazor brought him in with a sacrifice fly to center for the 1-0 lead.
Claysburg answered immediately in the top of the second. Corey Chamberlain led off with a walk. After an out, Seth Musselman grounded a ball up the middle that Lazor fielded behind second for an infield single. After both runners moved up on a wild pitch, Tanner Hall grounded to short and Lazor threw out Musselman trying to get to third on the play, but Chamberlain scored to tie the game.
Lleyton Kling, who had three hits in the game, lined a double off the fence to put runners on second and third for Ben Dombrosky. The Claysburg second baseman singled to right to bring home both runners for a 3-1 lead.
The Bulldogs had a couple other chances to score through the rest of the game, but they left four five runners on base in scoring position.
Bedford did not have many chances to score as Claysburg’s Kyle Glass allowed only six hits and one walk to get the win.
The Hurricanes got a run in the fifth inning. Ashton Dull led off the inning with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Joey Koontz. After a wild pitch, he scored on a line drive single to left by Dowey.
Bedford had a runner on second after Jared Colledge got a one-out double in the sixth inning, but Glass picked him off to stave off the rally.
Bedford had one more chance in the seventh. Jesse Chamberlain led off the inning with a broken bat dribbler for an infield single. He moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Dull. After a strikeout, Bedford was down to its final out with Matt Whysong, who has missed the last couple games with an injury, up to bat.
Whysong blooped a single just beyond Dombrosky’s glove in short right field. Chamberlain tried to score, but he got caught in a rundown and was tagged out for the final out of the game.
“We sometimes wonder how we do it,” smiled Claysburg coach Dave Aungst, who had missed the two previous come-from-behind victories because of work. “Kyle Glass pitched well for us and came up big. His pickoff was huge. We played good defense behind him.
“We have a big hit from Ben, and Lleyton was pounding the ball tonight. We left some runners on base, but that will happen against good pitching.”
“We played pretty well, but we made some mental errors that hurt us,” said Bedford coach Jordan Mills. “That is part of the game. We had some good at-bats in the seventh inning to give us a chance.
“We got more patient as the game went on. We were too aggressive early in the game. We had some hard hit balls that were right at them.”
The Bulldogs started the year 0-3 and battled back to finish third in the league standings. In the playoffs, they lost the first game and battled back to win the final four to earn the playoff title.
Friday night’s game was another comeback victory.
The Bulldogs were down 4-3 going into the top of the seventh inning. Chamberlain walked and Emerick doubled down the left-field line to put the tying run on third and go-ahead run on second. Musselman lined a single up the middle to score both runners for a 5-4 lead.
Bedford committed errors on the next two ground balls, and Musselman scored on the second one. The Bulldogs loaded the bases with a walk, but Bedford picked off a runner at third. A single by Tanner Hall reloaded the bases, and Dylan Focht had a line drive single to right to score Kling, but Bedford threw out a runner trying to score from second on the play.
Dawson Rightenour retired the Hurricanes in order in the bottom of the seventh to protect the victory.
Claysburg jumped out on top with two runs in the first inning. Glass and Focht started the game with singles, and Glass scored on a sacrifice fly by Chamberlain. Later in the inning, Focht scored on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Jacob Eberlin.
Bedford got a run back in the bottom of the inning. Dowey doubled and scored on a two-out double by Colledge.
Claysburg added to its lead in the fourth. Kling walked, went to second on a bunt single by Rightenour, and got to third on a groundout by Hall. Kling scampered home on wild pitch for the 3-1 lead.
Bedford tied the game in the bottom of the fourth. Colledge led off the inning with a double and Drew Hall also doubled to bring Colledge home. After an out, Jesse Arnold went to the opposite field for a single that scored Hall for the 3-3 tied.
Bedford got its first lead of the game in the fifth inning. Dowey and Mellott walked with one out, and after an error, Dowey came home on a ground ball by Lazor for a 4-3 lead. Bedford loaded the bases with two more walks, but a strikeout ended the threat.
NOTES – In Sunday’s game, Kling had three hits and Musselman had two for the Bulldogs. Colledge had two for the Hurricanes. … In Friday’s game, Focht had two hits for Claysburg and Colledge again had two hits for Bedford. … Claysburg scored in four innings in the two games combined, and three of those innings started with walks. … Combined the two teams scored in nine innings and the leadoff batter reached base in eight of those nine innings. … Hunter Emerick started Friday’s game for the Bulldogs on the mound and allowed only four runs in five innings. … Mellott was the starting pitcher for Bedford on Friday and lasted two innings. Lucas Nicodemus pitched the next four and two batters into the seventh before Lazor came in to finish the inning. … Claysburg trailed in all four playoff game victories and beat all the other three playoff teams (St. Michael, McConnellsburg, and Bedford).
Friday’s Game Cambria County Baseball League Playoff Game CLAYSBURG 7, BEDFORD 4 Claysburg AB R H RBI
Kyle Glass, 2b 2 1 1 0
Dylan Focht, 1b-rf 4 1 2 1
Corey Chamberlain, ss 0 1 0 1
Hunter Emerick, p-1b 3 1 1 0
Seth Musselman, lf 3 1 1 2
Jacob Eberlin, 3b 4 0 0 1
Lleyton Kling, cf 3 2 0 0
Dawson Rightenour, rf-p 3 0 1 0
Tanner Hall, c 4 0 1 0
Totals 26 7 7 5
Bedford AB R H RBI
Jared Dowey, cf 3 2 1 0
Trenten Mellott, p-rf 1 0 0 0
Lucas Nicodemus, p 1 0 0 0
Joey Huxta, cr 0 0 0 0
Andy Lazor, ss-p 4 0 0 1
Jared Colledge, 3b 3 1 2 1
Drew Hall, rf-2b 3 1 1 1
Isaac Whysong, dh 3 0 0 0
Rhett Frazier, 2b-ss 0 0 0 0
Jesse Arnold, 1b 3 0 1 1
Ashton Dull, c 3 0 0 0
Joey Koontz, lf 2 0 1 0
Totals 26 4 6 4
Claysburg 200 100 4 — 7
Bedford 100 210 0 — 4
E – Bedford 5, Claysburg 3. DP – Claysburg 2. LOB – Claysburg 9, Bedford 7. 2B – Emerick, Dowey, Colledge 2, Hall. PO – Eberlin. Sac – Focht, Koontz. SF – Chamberlain.
Claysburg IP H R ER BB K
Emerick 5 6 4 4 5 2
Rightenour, W 2 0 0 0 1 1
Bedford IP H R ER BB K
Mellott 2 2 2 2 2 3
Nicodemus, L 4+ 2 3 3 5 1
Lazor 1 3 1 1 1 0
Nicodemus faced two batters to start the seventh
WP – Bedford 1.
Sunday’s Game Cambria County Baseball League Playoff Game CLAYSBURG 3, BEDFORD 2
Claysburg AB R H RBI
Kyle Glass, p 4 0 0 0
Dylan Focht, 1b 4 0 0 0
Caleb Gampe, ss 4 0 0 0
Corey Chamberlain, 3b 2 1 0 0
Hunter Emerick, dh 2 0 0 0
Dawson Rightenour, rf-pr 0 0 0 0
Seth Musselman, lf 3 0 2 0
Tanner Hall, c 2 1 0 1
Lleyton Kling, cf 3 1 3 0
Ben Dombrosky, 2b 3 0 1 2
Totals 29 3 6 3
Bedford AB R H RBI
Jared Dowey, cf-p 3 1 1 1
Trenten Mellott, 2b-rf 3 0 0 0
Andy Lazor, ss 2 0 0 1
Jared Colledge, 3b 3 0 2 0
Isaac Whysong, dh-1b 3 0 0 0
Rhett Frazier, p 0 0 0 0
Jesse Arnold, 1b 2 0 0 0
Jesse Chamberlain, 2b 1 0 1 0
Ashton Dull, c 1 1 1 0
Joey Koontz, rf-lf 2 0 0 0
Matt Whysong, lf-cf 3 0 1 0
Totals 23 2 6 2
Claysburg 030 000 0 — 3
Bedford 100 010 0 — 2
E – Claysburg 1. LOB – Claysburg 8, Bedford 4. 2B – Kling, Colledge. SB – Kling, Dombrosky, Dowey. PO – Colledge. Sac – Dull, Koontz. SF – Lazor.
Claysburg IP H R ER BB K
Glass, W 7 6 2 1 1 4
Bedford IP H R ER BB K
Frazier, L 5 5 3 3 3 1
Dowey 2 1 0 0 0 2
HBP – Emerick (by Frazier); Hall (by Frazier). PB – Bedford 1. WP – Bedford 1, Claysburg 1.