Mount Union stops Golden Eagles three-game win streak

Despite how well Max Soellner pitched and how cleanly the Tyrone defense played yesterday against Mount Union, the Golden Eagles still had to know that the time would come, eventually, when the Trojans would piece together a significant rally. And that would mean that Tyrone’s bats would, eventually, have to make some noise of their own.
Mount Union plated three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning in building a 5-run lead, but the Tyrone rebuttal never came as the Trojans snapped the Golden Eagles’ 3-game winning streak with a 5-0 win in Mount Union.
Max Soellner took the loss for the Golden Eagles, despite a solid 7-inning performance. He scattered seven hits, walked two and allowed four earned runs.
“We’ve got to reward Max with some runs,” said Tyrone manager Tom Coleman, whose team evened its overall record at 3-3 while dropping its first Blair County League game (3-1). “He pitched well and had us in position to do some things, trailing just 2-0 in the fifth. We just have to get some timely hitting and be more aggressive with runners in scoring position.”
Tyrone put the lead-off man on to start three separate innings and moved three runners into scoring position, but never got any runners past second base.
In the first and third innings, lead off hitter Tyler Mertiff and No. 2 hitter Nick Friling each reached base but Tyrone was never able to capitalize.
That was due in large part to Mount Union pitcher Danny Puchalla, who kept Eagle hitters off balance most of the afternoon, striking out nine without surrendering a walk. In the first, when Tyrone had runners on first and second with one out, he fanned Derrick Soellner and Ben Gummo looking.
In the third, after Mertiff and Friling led off the inning with singles, Puchalla worked Tyrone batters for back-to-back fly ball outs and another strike out.
“When we hit today, we hit the ball hard, but we need to put it in play more,” said Coleman. “We still have too many strike outs.”
In fact, in three games this week, Tyrone batters struck out 26 times, including nine in each of their last two.
That has created a dilemma for Coleman: he wants his hitters to remain aggressive while at the same time maintaining the kind of patience that will cut down on strikeouts and force opposing pitchers to work harder.
They could learn a quick lesson in that department from the Trojans, or at least from their one through four hitters, who went a combined 6-for-10 with all five runs and three RBIs.
Of that group, shortstop Justin Price and third baseman Justin Inch were the difference makers. Price went 2-for-2 with a double, two runs and an RBI, while Inch went 3-for-3 with three singles and two RBI.
Inch singled home Price in the first and Price singled in Puchalla in the third as the Trojans built a 2-0 lead. Then in the fifth, another Inch single plated Price making it 4-0. One out later, Bubba Brown brought home Inch with a base hit to make it 5-0.
“We played a solid game overall but we need to score some runs,” said Coleman. “Despite the loss, it was a good week for us, going 2-1. We’ve got three more next week starting Monday and they’re all at home so hopefully we can put together a 3-0 week.”
Game Notes: Mount Union’s 6 through 9 hitters managed just one hit and got on base only twice … Puchalla struck out the side in the fifth inning … the loss was Soellner’s first decision of the season.
TYRONE – T. Mertiff, cf, 4-0-2; Friling, lf, 4-0-1; B. Mertiff, ss, 2-0-0; D. Soellner, dh, 3-0-0; Maceno, 2b, 0-0-0; Be. Gummo, c, 2-0-0; Mingle, ph, 1-0-1; C. Wilson, 1b, 3-0-0; M. Soellner, p, 3-0-0; Ba. Gummo, rf, 3-0-0; Cushion, 3b, 3-0-1; J. Wilson, cr, 0-0-0. TOTALS: 29-0-5.
MOUNT UNION – Puchalla, p, 2-2-1; Chilcote, c, 3-0-0; Price, ss, 3-2-2; Inch, 3b, 3-1-3; Hoffmaster, 2b, 3-0-0; Brown, cf, 3-0-1; Baird, rf, 3-0-0; Johnson, 1b, 3-0-0; McVey, dh, 2-0-0; , lf, 1-0-0. TOTALS: 26-5-7.
TYRONE 000 000 0 – 0-5-2
M. UNION 101 030 X – 5-7-2
2B: Price
RBI: Inch – 2, Price, Brown
K: Puchalla – 9, M. Soellner – 3
BB: Puchalla – 0, M. Soellner – 2
WP: Puchalla LP: M. Soellner