Altoona First flexes their muscles with 12-run inning against Tyrone Legion

The Tyrone Legion Federation baseball team jumped out to an early 6-0 lead on Tuesday at the Harry K. Sickler Jr. Athletic Park, but once-beaten Altoona First awakened from their slumber to send home a dozen runners in the top of the sixth to drop Tyrone Legion to 5-4 on the season with a 17-7 mercy-rule win.
Nick Friling kept Tyrone Legion in the game, despite not feeling well, going five innings before finally running out of gas. Pitching with heart and guts alone, Friling went through the Altoona First lineup yielding just a harmless single through the first three innings and was able to take a 7-5 lead into the sixth inning. Friling struck out five and walked six.
Tyrone Legion opened the scoring with a run in the first and followed that up with five more in the second.
Friling singled with one out in the first, moved to second on a bunt single by Barry Gummo and third on a wild pitch. Brandon Maceno got Friling home with a fielder’s choice.
In the second inning, Tyrone Legion sent nine men to the plate to score five times. Derrick Soellner and Andy Garofoli singled to open the frame. Nick Cushion moved both runners up with a sacrifice bunt and was safe at first on a throwing error by Altoona First starting pitcher Rick Feltenberger that allowed courtesy runner Tyler Rickards to score. Tyler Mertiff walked with one out to load the bases. Friling helped himself with a two-run single scoring Cushion and Jason Wilson, who had hit into a fielder’s choice. Following another fielder’s choice by Barry Gummo, Ben Gummo doubled in Mertiff and Barry Gummo to give Tyrone Legion a 6-0 advantage.
Altoona First started to get things in gear with three runs in the fourth, with the big blow a two-run single by Ben Ritchey and scored two more an inning later on back-to-back doubles by Darren Horton and Lee Kensinger and Tyrone’s only error of the contest.
Tyrone Legion got one run back in the fourth inning. Barry Gummo walked to lead off the inning and eventually scored on a throwing error by Ritchey behind the plate.
Tyrone Legion very nearly got out of the sixth with just a tie ball game. Altoona First filled the bases with nobody out and then got a run-scoring single from Ritchey and got a gift to score the tying run when Tyrone reliever Ben Gummo hit Horton with a pitch to force in a run.
Tyrone Legion brought their infield up and Gummo inticed two straight ground balls, one to third baseman Nick Cushion and one to shortstop Tyler Mertiff. Each resulted in a force out at home. But when it appeared the threat was over, Altoona First stepped it up to plate 10 more runs before Tyrone Legion could secure the third out. Lee Kensinger belted a single and double to score three runners and designated hitter Doug Ritchey had two singles and three RBIs as well to lead the attack.
“Nick Friling got us to the sixth inning on guts alone,” said Tyrone Legion manager John Harlow. “He was sick, he was drained, but he went out there and pitched a whale of a ball game for five solid innings. I gave him the option to start the sixth and he said he could go, but after a couple batters, you could tell he was done. We got the bases loaded, nobody out. Ground ball to Nick Cushion, he throws home, ground ball to Mert, he throws home. You think we have it. Then there’s a ground ball to Nick Friling at first. It takes a bad hop over his head and the merry-go-round started.”
Friling and Derrick Soellner lead Tyrone Legion with two hits each with Soellner’s double the only Tyrone extra-base hit.
“These kids deserved better than losing 17-7,” lamented Harlow. “We hit the ball better than we have hit all year for the first four innings, then we ran out of gas. That will come, we still have five more games to play this week.
“I can’t say enough about the way Nick Friling pitched tonight, and he had two hits as well. The kid’s out there sick as a dog, pitches five good innings and keeps us in the ballgame and gets two hits.”
Jeff Curfman picked up the win for Altoona First with two and 2/3 scoreless innings of relief and Lee Kensinger pitched a one-two-three sixth inning to close out the win.
“The kids played hard and didn’t give up,” said coach Harlow, “even when Altoona First was hitting the crap out of the ball in the sixth, no matter how ugly it got. Even in our last at bat, we hit the ball hard, but right at people. Sooner or later the ball is going to fall in for us.”
Tyrone Legion plays plays a tripleheader on Thursday beginning with a game at Tyrone against Park Furniture at 5:30 p.m. Then they travel to Mansion Park to complete the suspended game and play a complete regular game against ReMax. On Saturday, Tyrone plays Dick’s Pharmacy at Geesey Park at 2 p.m. and moves to Vets Field to play Sheetz at 5 p.m.
Altoona First 17 Tyrone Legion 7 (6 innings)
ALTOONA FIRST – B. Ritchey, c, 4-2-3; Stern, 3b, 4-1-2; Horton, ss, 3-2-2; L. Kensinger, cf-p, 5-2-3; K. Kensinger, 1b, 4-2-0; Nevins, 2b, 3-2-1; Bassler, rf, 3-1-0; Snyder, lf, 1-3-1; Feltenberger, p, 0-0-0; Curfman, p, 0-0-0; D. Ritchey, dh, 4-2-2. TOTALS 31-17-14.
TYRONE LEGION – Mertiff, ss, 2-1-0; Friling, p-1b, 4-1-2; Ba. Gummo, cf, 3-2-1; Be. Gummo, 3b-p, 3-0-1; Maceno, 2b, 3-0-0; Soellner, c, 3-0-2; Rickards, cr, 0-1-0; Myers, cr, 0-0-0; Garofoli, lf, 3-0-1; Cushion, 1b-3b, 1-1-0; Wilson, rf, 2-1-0; Tremmel, cr-rf, 1-0-1. TOTALS 25-7-8.
Altoona First 000 32(12) 17-14-4.
Tyrone Legion 150 100 7-8-1.
2B: Horton 2, L. Kensinger 1, Be. Gummo 1, Soellner 1.
RBI: L. Kensinger 4, B. Ritchey 3, D. Ritchey 3, Horton 2, Snyder 2, Stern 1, Bassler 1, Friling 2, Be. Gummo 2, Maceno 1.
SO: Curfman 1, Friling 5.
BB: Feltenberger 2, Curfman 2, Friling 6, Be. Gummo 2.
WP: Curfman LP: Friling.