EBENSBURG — With the playoffs looming, the Claysburg Post 522 Bulldogs had a little say in what team they would be playing in the first round.
On Wednesday, Claysburg and Ebensburg had to conclude a game that was started on Sunday, but was suspended due to rain with Claysburg winning, 2-0.
— A win by Claysburg, and the Bulldogs knock Ebensburg out of the playoffs and will play Somerset on Thursday.
— A win by Ebensburg, and Ebensburg and Somerset would tie for the final playoff spot and a play-in game would need to be played on Thursday, bumping the first game of playoffs back a day to Friday.
Claysburg left little doubt by scoring five runs in the fourth and cruised to an 11-1 win in six innings.
Claysburg’s Jacob Eberlin did the job on the mound by throwing a four-hitter and allowing only one unearned run and two walks with six strikeouts.
While the game was played over two days, it played like two separate games. On Sunday, the teams played two scoreless innings before Claysburg got on the board in the top of the third. Connor Oakes, who did not play on Wednesday, got a single before Kyle Glass was hit a pitch.
Two outs later, both scored on a triple by Noah Muthler as the rain came down harder. A ground ball to the shortstop ended the inning and the baseball on Sunday as the umpires had to suspend play because of the weather.
When the game resumed on Wednesday, Ebensburg did not score in the bottom of the third, but Claysburg applied the gas to take control of the game with five runs in the fourth. Parker Dibert led off the inning with a walk, Jordan Berkstresser reached on an error, and Tanner Hunt was walked to load the bases. Lleyton Kling smacked a single to center to drive home Dibert, and an error on Ebensburg allowed Glass to reach base and score Berkstresser.
Corey Chamberlain hit a high hopper that went about 20 feet up the first-base line for an infield single, driving home Hunt. Emerick singled to right to score Kling, and Muthler hit a sacrifice fly to plate Glass for the 7-0 lead.
Eberlin, who started the game on Sunday, kept rolling on the mound on Wednesday. He gave up a run in the bottom of the fourth. Devin Renzi reached on an error and stole second before Gage Fedora singled to right to bring him home. The next Ebensburg batter tried to get a hit to right as well, but Berkstresser made a nice play to catch the ball and fired it to first to double off Fedora to end the inning.
Claysburg added two more in the fifth. Tanner Hunt got a double to right-center. His big lead at second forced Ebensburg to try to pick him off, but Hunt broke for third to easily beat the throw, even though he did have the wind knocked out of him on the slide. Kling grounded out to second to drive Hunt home. Glass was hit by a pitch for the second time in the game, which was followed by singled by Chamberlain and Emerick to bring Glass across the plate.
Ebensburg loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth, but Eberlin enticed a ground ball to get out of the inning unscathed.
Claysburg got the mercy rule with two more runs in the sixth. Eberlin, Dibert, Berkstresser, and Hunt all walked to start the inning, which brought home Eberlin, and Dibert scored on a fielding error to make the score 11-1.
After allowing a runner to get to second on a walk and an error on a pickoff attempt, Eberlin got a ground ball and two strikeouts to end the game.
“We did what we had to do tonight,” said Claysburg coach Eric Claar. “We got good pitching from Jacob, and we were really patient at the plate.”
Claysburg had only 10 hits, but they took advantage of three Ebensburg errors, two hit batsmen, and nine walks.
Chamberlain and Emerick both had two hits, while Dibert was walked on all four trips to the plate. Muthler had three RBIs, while Kling and Emerick had two apiece. Glass scored three runs, while Hunt and Dibert scored two apiece.
Claysburg finished CCAL regular season with a 20-1 record, and the Bulldogs were 23-1 overall. Of the playoff teams in the CCAL, Claysburg swept Somerset and Bedford, and its lone loss came to the second-seeded team from St. Michael. The Bulldogs were 2-1 against the Saints.
CLAYSBURG 11, EBENSBURG 1, 6 innings
Claysburg AB R H RBI
Connor Oakes, 2b 2 1 1 0
Lleyton Kling, lf 3 1 1 2
Kyle Glass, 3b 3 3 1 1
Corey Chamberlain, ss 5 0 2 1
Hunter Emerick, dh 4 0 2 2
Jonah Snowberger, 1b 0 0 0 0
Noah Muthler, lf-2b 3 0 1 3
Jacob Eberlin, p 3 1 1 0
Parker Dibert, c 0 2 0 0
Jordan Berkstresser, lf-rf 2 1 0 0
Tanner Hunt, cf 3 2 1 1
Totals 30 11 10 10
Ebensburg AB R H RBI
Blake Pellegrino, cf 2 0 1 0
Logan Gottshall, ss-c 3 0 1 0
Carter Seymour, lf 1 0 0 0
Devin Renzi, 2b-3b-ss-1b 2 1 0 0
Evan Becquet, c-p-ss 2 0 0 0
Gage Fedora, 3b-p-3b 3 0 1 1
Elias Kline, rf 1 0 0 0
Corey Roberts, lf-2b 2 0 0 0
Nicholas Burkhart, 1b-p 3 0 1 0
Justin Bezek, 2b 0 0 0 0
Trevor Harriger, rf 2 0 0 0
Levi Evans, p-lf 1 0 0 0
Ethan Frank, 2b-lf 1 0 0 0
Totals 23 1 4 1
Claysburg 002 522 — 11
Ebensburg 000 100 — 1
E – Claysburg 3, Ebensburg 3. DP – Claysburg 1; LOB – Claysburg 10, Ebensburg 6. 2B – Hunt. 3B – Muthler. SB – Oakes, Glass, Eberlin, Hunt, Seymour, Becquet. PO – Eberlin, Dibert. SF – Muthler.
Claysburg IP H R ER BB K
Eberlin, W 6 4 1 0 2 6
Ebensburg IP H R ER BB K
Evans, L 3+ 5 6 5 4 1
Fedora 2 6 3 2 1 0
Becquet 0+ 0 2 2 4 0
Burkhart 1 0 0 0 0 0
Evans pitched to four batters in the fourth inning
Becquet pitched to five batters in the sixth inning
HBP – Glass (by Evans); Glass (by Fedora). WP – Ebensburg.