Bottom end of Eagles lineup fuels come from behind victory

Tyrone\’s bottom three showed yesterday how important it is to finish up strong at the end of the batting order.
The Golden Eagles\’ seven, eight and nine hitters combined to go 6-for-11 with two runs scored, three RBI and two extra-base hits as Tyrone rallied from four runs down to defeat Penns Valley 12-9 in the season-opener at Spring Mills.
Catcher Derrick Soellner doubled and knocked in three runs, third baseman Nick Cushion had two hits and scored twice, and DH Tyler Rickards doubled as part of a 14-hit barrage that helped produce 11 Tyrone runs over the last three innings.
The bottom third of the Rams\’ order, meanwhile, managed just two hits and one run in nine at-bats, after hitter one through six combined on six hits and eight runs.
“I have a lot of confidence in our line-up, one through nine,” said Tyrone manager Tom Coleman. “We\’ve got a lot of tough batters in our order and today was a total team effort. If the bottom of our order continues to hit like they did today, we\’re going to win some games.”
Tyrone\’s power and balance throughout its order were enough to overcome an uncharacteristically shaky pitching performance by senior left-hander Barry Gummo, who battled through 6-plus innings, surrendering all nine runs on eight hits.
Junior Brice Mertiff picked up where he left off last season, going 2-for-3 with five RBI, two runs and a 6th inning grand slam that put Tyrone ahead for good. Mertiff also came on in the seventh to fan a pair of Penns Valley batters and record his first save of the season.
“Mertiff is a gamer,” said Coleman. “Offensively, he came through for us and in the seventh he shut down Penns Valley by throwing hard.”
Valley went ahead 4-0 in the third inning after putting together back-to-back two-run innings. Doubles by Doug Leitch and Jason Homan made it 2-0 in the second and a Matt Brubaker RBI in the third made it 4-0.
Tyrone tied the game with three runs in the fifth, including RBI singles by Brinton Mingle and Clint Wilson, only to surrender two more runs to Valley in the bottom of the frame and trail 6-4.
Mertiff\’s slam in the sixth put the Eagles ahead 8-6, and Soellner pushed across two more with an RBI double.
Tyrone scored two more in the top of the seventh on a sacrifice fly by Mertiff and run-scoring double by Mingle. They became key runs after Gummo started the bottom of the seventh by hitting the first two batters he faced – the Rams\’ eight and nine hitters. Valley plated two in the inning before Mertiff came on to shut the Rams down.
“Barry stuck it out a gave us a nice performance today,” said “It wasn\’t his \”A\” game but he got us out of some key innings. For his first game of the season, he did well.”
Tyrone now has off until next Tuesday when it faces Central at the Harry K. Sickler Sports Complex in the home opener.
“To start with a win is great,” Coleman said. “We return a lot of experience and I think that showed. It helped us when we were down in the later innings.”
TYRONE – Be. Gummo 2B-SS, 4-2-1; Ba. Gummo, P-CF, 2-3-1; Mertiff, SS-P, 3-2-2; Mingle, rf, 5-1-3; C. Wilson, 1B, 2-2-1; Maceno, LF-2B, 3-1-0; 3-1-0; D. Soellner, C, 4-0-3; J. Wilson, CF, 0-0-0; Rickards, DH, 3-0-1; Cushion, 3B, 4-2-2. TOTALS: 30-12-14.
PENNS VALLEY – Forr, 2B, 2-3-1; Hull, C, 3-1-1; Brubaker, CF, 3-1-0; Leitch, p-3B, 4-1-1; Smith 1B, 4-0-1; Wert, LF, 4-2-2; Spicer, 3B, 0-0-0; Rossman, P, 0-0-0; A. Spicer, C, 3-0-0; Homan, SS, 3-0-1; Glasko, RF, 3-1-1. TOTALS: 29-9-8.
Tyrone 000 136 2 – 12-14-1
Penns Valley 022 021 2 – 9-8-0
2B: Rickards, Soellner, Mingle, Wert, Homan
HR: Mertiff, Wert
RBI: Mertiff (5), Soellner (3), Mingle (2), Be. Gummo (1), Wilson (1)
SO: Mertiff- 2, Gummo- 3
BB: Mertiff- 0, Gummo- 4
WP: Ba. Gummo LP: Spicer SAVE: Mertiff