Hard fought game suspended after 8 innings by darkness

For weeks it was the rain holding the Tyrone Legion baseball team off the field. Monday evening darkness was the culprit, preventing Tyrone from completing a stellar game. After almost three hours and a extra inning of play, neither Tyrone or home team ReMax could pull away, leaving the game tied 4-4 at the unlighted Geesey Park.
In the top of the first inning Nick Friling had a single with one out, and after a Tyler Mertiff line out, Ben Gummo and Friling executed a hit and run perfectly. Friling took off for second base and drew the second baseman to the bag leaving a gaping hole on the right side which Gummo smacked a single through. Unfortunately Tyrone was unable to take advantage, and the game was scoreless after one inning.
In the third inning Tyrone drew first blood. Friling singled to left, and Mertiff ripped a base hit to put runners at first and second with no outs. Ben Gummo hit a fly ball to right, and Friling tug up and went to third. The throw got away, and the hustling Friling scored. Meanwhile, Mertiff was stuck between second and third, but the throw to second went back into right field, and Mertiff rounded third to score the second run of inning.
Pitcher Nick Friling cruised through the first three innings pitching no-hit ball. However, the rust from not pitching for over two weeks caught up with Friling in the fourth. He gave up a single to lead off the inning, and ReMax pitcher Mike Rodriguez followed up with a towering home run to left to tie the game at two.
Friling then walked ReMax designated hitter Matt Leak, but Leak was thrown out attempting to steal by catcher Ben Gummo. The next three ReMax batters drew free passes, but thanks to a unassisted line out double play by second baseman Brandon Maceno the damage was minimized.
Tyrone went quietly in the top of the fifth, and ReMax threatened to take the lead in the bottom of the inning. ReMax was able to get runners at first and third with two outs courtesy of a double and a walk off new pitcher Maceno, but he was able to step up in the pressure situation and strike out Leak on three pitches to end the threat.
In the top of the seventh inning, the Tyrone bats once again came to life. The inning started with new catcher Derrick Soellner smashing a pitch over the centerfielder’s head for an apparent double. However, ReMax appealed Soellner had missed first base, and he was called out. Undaunted by the call, Barry Gummo lined the next pitch into center for a single and moved to second on a stolen base. After Friling lined out to right, Tyler Mertiff came through with a two out RBI single to score Gummo from second and give Tyrone the lead. Mertiff then stole second and capitalized on a error on a ball hit by Ben Gummo and scored Tyrone’s fourth run of the evening. Going into the bottom of the seventh, Tyrone led 4-2.
In the bottom of the seventh, Coach John Harlow elected to stick with pitcher Brandon Maceno instead of going to his closer Tyler Mertiff.
“Brandon was throwing the ball well, and we had just gotten him the lead. I wanted to show him we have confidence in him, and see how he performed in the seventh, because we’ll need him in pressure situations later in the year,” Harlow said as he explained his reasoning.
The inning started off well with a ground out to short, but the next two batters reached on a walk and a double. With runners at second and third, ReMax’s Mike Rodriguez struck again with a game tying single to left field. Maceno got Matt Leak to hit into a fielder’s choice, but then surrendered a single to Jeremy Knapp.
With runners on first and third and two outs, Harlow turned to his closer. Mertiff was able to strike out the batter and send the game to extra innings.
Tyrone did not threaten in their half of the eighth, but ReMax put four runners on base. A.J. Palazzi reached on an error to lead off the inning, and the next batter walked. With ReMax catcher Mike Montgomery attempting a sacrifice bunt, Mertiff spun around and picked off Palazzi from second base. After Montgomery grounded out, Mertiff walked the next two batters to load the bases, but was able to escape the jam by striking out ReMax star Mike Rodriguez to end the inning.
“Tyler did an amazing job. He was not intimidated by Rodriguez. I dare you to find a moment Tyler is scared,” Harlow said of the escape.
Before ReMax took the field for the top of the ninth, play was suspended due to darkness.
Legion Notes: Tyrone played three men short Monday as Andy Garofoli, Matt Germino, and Chris Tremmel were unable to make the trip…. After making five errors in seven innings in their first game, Tyrone only made two in eight their second. “This is my third year managing and this is the most fundamentally sound game I have seen,” Harlow said…. Four of six runners attempting to steal on Tyrone’s catchers have been thrown out in their first two games….Meanwhile, Tyrone has nine stolen bases and have only been caught once….Third baseman Tyler Rickards singled in his first official at bat and drew Tyrone’s only walk Monday….The Legion is not scheduled to play again until Friday.
Tyrone 4 ReMax 4 (Game to be completed)
TYRONE- Ba. Gummo cf, 411; Friling p-1b, 412; Mertiff ss-p, 422; Be. Gummo c-3b-ss, 301; Maceno 2b-p, 400; Cushion 1b-2b-3b, 401; Wilson lf, 200; Clark ph, 100; Myers rf, 300; Rickards 3b, 101; Soellner c, 100. TOTALS: 31-4-8.
ReMax- Kaack lf, 300; Montgomery c, 400; Milliron cf, 311; McConnell 1b, 322; Rodriguez p, 412; Leak dh, 300; DeArmitt rf-pr, 000; Knapp 3b, 302; Zemleduck pr, 000; Mercer ss, 200; Palazzi 2b, 300. TOTALS: 28-4-7.
Tyrone 002 000 20 4-8-2.
ReMax 000 200 20 4-7-4.
2B: McConnell 1, Milliron 1.
HR: Rodriguez 1.
RBI: Mertiff 1, Rodriguez 4.
SO: Friling 2, Maceno 1, Mertiff 2, Rodriguez 8.
BB: Friling 7, Maceno 2, Mertiff 3, Rodriguez 1.