Tyrone eliminated after two weekend losses to Altoona First

The Tyrone Legion ended their season Sunday night under the lights of Mansion Park with a loss, but you could argue that despite losing to Altoona First 4-3, Tyrone looked as good as they had all season. Sunday was definitely an improvement over Saturday’s 10-0 setback in which Tyrone was never able to get the bats going and looked rusty in the field.
The Legion fell behind early in the first game. Altoona First used two walks, a hit, and three Tyrone errors in their half of the first inning to score three runs capped off by a two-out Kyle Kensinger RBI single.
Tyrone hurler Nick Friling got through the second frame without giving up any runs by helping himself when he fielded a sharp grounder and threw to second to start a nice double play. The Legion rode the momentum to the top of the third when the posed their only threat of the day. With one down, Matt Germino singled to right. He moved to second on a single by Barry Gummo, and both runners moved up when Friling put down an excellent sacrifice bunt. With two down, Tyrone’s rally stalled as Tyler Mertiff popped out to short to end the inning.
Tyrone would manage to get only one more base runner in the game, and Altoona First continued to pour it on with three runs in the third, two in the fourth, and two more in the fifth to down Tyrone with the mercy rule 10-0.
“We had more errors than they had runs it seemed like. You can’t win any game much less a playoff game when you do that. We just didn’t catch the ball tonight,” coach John Harlow said in frustration after the loss.
On Sunday a seemingly different team showed up for Tyrone. Fueled by an amazing pitching performance by Barry Gummo, Tyrone showed the heart and toughness they have been known for.
Altoona First got off to another quick start as they picked up a run on three singles in the first inning and another in the second on a walk, a steal, and a RBI single by Scott Stern.
However, this time Tyrone fought back. Andy Garofoli led off Tyrone’s half of the third with a double and was able to score on a single by Ben Gummo. Gummo moved to second when Derrick Soellner drew a walk, and after an out, Nick Cushion plated Gummo with a rocket to centerfield. Germino sacrificed the runners to second and third, but they would be stranded there.
Barry Gummo retired the first two batters of the Altoona First half of the third, but then gave up a single followed by what turned out to be a ground-rule double when the ball went under the fence. With two runners in scoring position, Gummo showed a lot of poise and got Kyle Kensinger to ground into what appeared to be the third out of the inning. After an argument by Altoona First coaches that first baseman Nick Cushion had pulled his foot from the first base bag during the force out, the call was appealed and overturned by the home umpire. Tyrone went back onto the field, but Altoona First would take advantage of their second life. One run had already scored on the grounder, and another one crossed the plate when Gummo momentarily lost his concentration on the mound and let a throw back to him get by into centerfield. Gummo regained his composure and struck out Eric Snyder to end the inning.
Altoona First would not score again. Gummo began to completely dominate their powerful lineup which is one of the best in the league. He did not allow another runner past second, struck out twelve batters, and started a double play in the fifth inning that featured an acrobatic throw from Mertiff to finish the twin killing.
“Barry Gummo was unbelievable tonight. To pitch like that with the season on the line was amazing. He had more smoke on his fastball at the end of the game than at the start,” said Harlow of his pitcher.
Tyrone was able to put together a two-out rally in the bottom of the sixth. Soellner got things rolling with a sharp single to left and moved to second when left fielder Eric Snyder lost Chris Tremmel’s fly ball in the lights. It was the first and only Altoona First error of the series. Cushion moved everyone up a base when he was hit by a pitch, and with the bases loaded Germino was walked to force in Tyrone’s third run of the game. However, the rally stopped there as the runners were all left stranded.
Gummo kept Tyrone in the game in the top of the seventh when he escaped a two out jam by fighting all the way back from a 3-0 count to get Lee Kensinger to ground out to second.
In Tyrone’s last stand they had the middle of their lineup due, but on this day their best would not be enough to beat Altoona First’s best. Lee Kensinger, Altoona First’s ace, was able to strike out the side, but each Tyrone batter went down swinging. It was a fitting end to a season which saw Tyrone rarely go down without a fight.
“We fought hard and played with a lot of heart tonight, and I swear the team who came to play tonight was completely different than last night’s team. They made an adjustment and tonight things were so much better, but with only four hits we just did not hit enough to win,” said Harlow after the season ending loss.
Legion Notes: Barry Gummo’s 12 strikeouts were a season high for a Legion pitcher. Nick Cushion, Nick Friling, Matt Germino, and Tyler Mertiff played in their final George B. Kelly Federation game. All made huge contributions to the successful season. The Legion made the playoffs in each of his three seasons Harlow has been at the helm, and advanced to the final four once. To all those who have participated or contributed to Tyrone Legion baseball this summer, remember, there is always next year.
Saturday, July 12 at Vets Field
Altoona First 10 Tyrone Legion 0
TYRONE LEGION – Ba. Gummo, lf-cf, 3-0-1; Friling, p-1b, 1-0-0; Mertiff, cf-ss, 2-0-1; Be. Gummo, ss-3b, 2-0-0; Garofoli, c, 2-0-0; Tremmel, rf, 1-0-0; Myers, rf, 0-0-0; Soellner, 1b, 2-0-0; Wilson, lf, 0-0-0; Maceno, 2b-p, 2-0-0; Germino, dh, 2-0-1; Cushion, 3b, 0-0-0. TOTALS 17-0-3.
ALTOONA FIRST – Stern, ss, 3-3-2; D. Ritchey, 2b, 3-1-1; Horton, 1b, 3-0-1; L. Kensinger, cf, 4-2-1; Daughenbaugh, c, 4-1-1; Bassler, 3-2-2; K. Kensinger, 3b, 3-1-3; Snyder, 2-0-0; Feltenberger, p, 0-0-0; Rhodes, dh, 3-0-0. TOTALS 28-10-11.
Tyrone Legion 000 00 0-3-6.
Altoona First 303 22 10-11-0.
2B: Bassler 1, Stern 1.
RBI: Horton 2, K. Kensinger 2, Snyder 1, Stern 1.
SO: Feltenberger 3, Friling 3.
BB: Feltenberger 1, Friling 3.
WP: Feltenberger LP: Friling.
Sunday, July 13, at Mansion Park
Altoona First 4 Tyrone Legion 3
ALTOONA FIRST – Stern, ss, 2-0-1; Nevins, 2b, 1-0-0; Bechtal, 1b, 3-0-0; Horton, dh, 4-1-2; Oliveri, cf, 0-0-0; L. Kensinger, 3b-p, 4-0-1; Daughenbaugh, c, 3-1-2; Bassler, rf, 3-1-1; K. Kensinger, 1b-2b, 3-0-0; Snyder, lf, 2-1-0; Curfman, p-3b, 3-0-0. TOTALS 28-4-7.
TYRONE LEGION – Ba. Gummo, p, 4-0-0; Friling, cf, 4-0-0; Mertiff, ss, 4-0-0; Garofoli, c, 3-1-1; Be. Gummo, 3b, 3-1-1; Soellner, dh, 2-1-1; Wilson, lf, 0-0-0; Myers, rf, 1-0-0; Rickards, ph, 1-0-0; Tremmel, rf, 1-0-0; Cushion, 1b, 1-0-1; Germino, 2b, 1-0-0. TOTALS 29-3-4.
Altoona First 112 000 0 4-7-1
Tyrone Legion 020 001 0 3-4-4
2B: Bassler 1, Garofoli 1.
RBI: Daughenbaugh 1, Stern 1, Cushion 1, Germino 1, Be. Gummo 1.
SO: Curfman 6, L. Kensinger 6, Ba. Gummo 12.
BB: Curfman 3, L. Kensinger 1, Ba. Gummo 3.
WP: Curfman LP: Ba. Gummo.