Philipsburg homers down Predators in 6-0 loss

LEWISTOWN – In terms of number of hits, Lewistown matched Philipsburg pace for pace during Tuesday’s Centre County Men’s League baseball game as each team finished with six.

However, what those numbers don’t take into account is the distance of those hits, and unfortunately for the Predators, Philipsburg was far superior in that category.

Working off two home runs, a couple clutch hits and a few Lewistown miscues, Philipsburg blanked the Predators 6-0, putting the Mifflin County team at an even 3-3 on the season.

“They’re known for their power,” Lewistown manager Sean Heckert said of Philipsburg, and the Centre County men lived up to the reputation Tuesday.

After going three up, three down in the top of the first, Philipsburg mounted its first threat in the second when Brandon Myers worked Lewistown pitcher Tanner Kibe for a lead-off walk. Kibe would learn to regret the free pass, too, as the next batter, Tyler Good, saw one he liked on the 1-0 count and put it deep over the left-center fence.

Kibe retired the next three batters on a strikeout and two routine plays in the field, but the damage was already done with the Philipsburg lead at 2-0.

“Tanner threw a couple bad pitches that ended up hurting us, but he threw a great game,” Heckert said.

Kibe matched Philipsburg pitcher Parker Watson in strikeouts with four. He also gave up five walks, and one of them came back to bite the Predators in the top of the seventh when Aaron Lidgett lead off with a walk and later reached on an error in left field to score the first of Philipsburg’s three seventh-inning runs.

The other runs came on a Good RBI to left field and a sacrifice fly to center from Watson. In the sixth, Philipsburg had notched its second home run off the bat of Myers.

On Lewistown’s end, the Predators were putting the ball in play, but couldn’t string together the hits to bring in any runs.

“We hit the ball hard right at people today. I thought we kind of had some bad luck with a couple line drive double plays ended up hurting us. I thought we put the ball in play, but that’s baseball, sometimes it happens,” Heckert said.

Lewistown had a runner in scoring position in the bottom of the seventh when Heckert lead off with a line drive past the shortstop then advanced on a 5-3 fielder’s choice from Chad Battista. However, the inning was ended prematurely when Cody Heane lined one to Watson, who turned the double play with a quick pickoff of Heckert at second.

The only other time the Predators had a runner in scoring position was the second, when with one out Morgan Barger reached on a single then advanced to second on a Cy Treaster single to right field, but Mick Higgins had struck out between Barger and Treaster and the inning ended when Kibe popped up to short.

“I think our bats have kind of started out slow, so once we start hitting we’ll be fine. We’ve had a couple games where we didn’t have some of our regulars, but we’ve got everyone back now and I think we’re going to be fine. We should finish the top half of the league. That’s what we expect, so we’ve just got to come out and get it done,” Heckert said.

The Predators (3-3) get back in action Thursday when they host Spring Mills at 6 p.m.

Clarence 15, Milroy 0 (4 innings)

CLARENCE – Milroy fell into a small hole early and saw it get a lot bigger before the night was over.

Clarence put up eight runs in the fourth to end the Centre County League baseball game, 15-0.

“We’re struggling right now. Hopefully it gets better,” manager Danny Knepp said.

Milroy (2-7) travels to Blanchard Thursday.