After inclement weather brought a halt to Wednesday's District 25 Little League 10U all-star tournament game with Oil City sporting a 2-1 lead over Clarion with one out in the bottom of the first inning, Oil City was looking to finish off the opening-round victory on Friday evening at Rennie Schneider Field.
But, the all-stars from Clarion flipped the script on Friday as they tacked on three runs in the completion of the first frame before adding two runs in the second and 11 more in the third to record a 17-2, three-inning win over Oil City and advance to the winners' bracket final against either Titusville or Franklin at a date, site and time to be determined.
On Wednesday, Oil City, who was the road team after losing the coin flip, got the upper hand and took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first stanza. Andy Mietus got things started with a one-out single and Elijah Sabin followed with a double to score Mietus with the first run of the game. After Bryce Davis was hit by a pitch, Ryan Jackson delivered a single to plate Sabin for a 2-0 advantage.
Clarion answered with a run in the home half of the frame before the rains came as Eli Nellis and Paul Craig started the frame with back-to-back singles and Ethan Rex grounded out to short to bring in Nellis to trim the deficit to 2-1 before the game was stopped due to the weather.
In the completion of the first inning on Friday, Clarion picked up where it left off as Parker Miller stroked a double to plate Craig to knot the score at 2-2 before a pair of errors by Oil City's defense allowed two more runs to score for a 4-2 edge.
With one out in the top of the second, Oil City looked to be back in business again as Blake Marchinke and Mietus each reached with a single, but Clarion pitcher Liam Huwar worked his way out of the jam with a grounder back to the mound and a strikeout to keep Clarion's lead intact.
Clarion, however, kept up its offensive surge with two more runs in the bottom of the second to open up a 6-2 advantage. Alex Love led off with a walk and, after a groundout to the pitcher moved Love to second, Craig came through with a single to score Love for a 5-2 lead. After Craig stole second and moved to third on a passed ball, Rex hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield to plate Craig for a 6-2 lead.
Huwar kept the Oil City offense in check in the top of the third, allowing only a one-out walk to Carter Bialo, before recording a strikeout and another grounder back to the mound to end the inning.
Clarion put the game away in the third, sending 13 batters to the plate with 11 of them crossing the plate on seven hits, three walks, a hit-batsman and an error.
After Clarion loaded the bases on an error, a hit-by-pitch and a walk, Love orchestrated another walk to score the first run of the inning. Nellis then cracked a two-run single ahead of Craig's RBI single for a 10-2 lead. Rex stepped to the plate and ripped a two-run triple before scoring on Miller's RBI single for a 13-2 edge. Huwar came through with another RBI single and Dylan Smail followed with a walk. Billy Kahle then ripped a two-run double before Casey Kemmer closed out the game with a run-scoring single.
Craig led Clarion at the plate by going 3-for-3 with three runs scored and two RBIs. Rex tripled and drove in four runs while Nellis and Miller each had two hits and two RBIs with Miller cranking a double. Kahle also had a double and knocked in a pair of runs while Huwar and Kemmer added a single and an RBI apiece.
Mietus went 2-for-2 with a run scored to lead Oil City while Sabin doubled and drove in a run and Marchinke and Jackson each had a single with Jackson adding an RBI.
Oil City, meanwhile, will face either Titusville or Franklin in a losers' bracket game at a date, site and time to be determined.