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Defensive plays key in Tyrone win over Juniata Valley Hornets

Like any one-run game, there were a lot of plays that went into making Tyrone\’s 5-4 victory yesterday over Juniata Valley.
You could make a case for either of the two double plays the Eagles turned in the second and third innings to send the Hornets away scoreless. Third baseman Tyler Rickards\’ snag of Doug Grissinger\’s hot liner with runners on second and third in the fourth inning is up there, too.
But the biggest move of the day came when junior pitcher Brandon Maceno chose to knuckle up after surrendering four runs on six hits in the fourth inning. Unfazed by the Hornets\’ salvo, Maceno fought back to retire nine of the next 11 batters and pick one runner off first base, giving the Eagles a shot to win the game in the seventh inning.
They did, and Maceno improved to 2-0 this season, while Tyrone upped its record to 8-2.
“He\’s a competitor,” said Tyrone manager Tom Coleman of Maceno. “He may have gotten roughed up a little in the middle innings, but he settled down and started hitting his spots. Give him credit. He stuck it out all seven innings.”
He had to, because unlike some of the sleepers Tyrone has been involved in this spring, yesterday\’s game wasn\’t decided until the final frame. That was when a bad day in the field got even worse for the Hornets, who committed two seventh inning errors and surrendered an unearned game-winning run.
Brinton Mingle and Clint Wilson drew back-to-back one-out walks for Tyrone bringing up Ben Gummo, who nearly popped out to the catcher in foul territory. But Tyler Hall couldn\’t hang on to the ball, giving Gummo new life.
Two pitches later, he lined a shot to second baseman Ben Gildea, whose throw to second for the force went high and into the outfield, allowing Mingle to round third and score.
It was the third unearned run of the game allowed by the Hornets. Starter Corey Lightner went the distance for JV (6-6) and allowed just six hits – the Eagles\’ second lowest total of the season – while fanning four.
“It\’s nice to finally get a victory because of someone else\’s mistakes,” said Coleman, whose team has combined for 15 errors in its two losses. “It shows that it pays if you put the ball in play, and let the other team make the outs.”
Catcher Derrick Soellner had another big day at the plate for the Eagles, going 3-for-3 with a double and two RBI, while Mingle scored three times.
Tyrone took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a run-scoring double by Brice Mertiff that drove home Barry Gummo. The Eagles extended their lead to 3-0 in the third when Mingle scored on a one-out balk by Lightner and Soellner singled home Ben Gummo.
Valley took the lead by stringing together six hits in seven plate appearances to start the fourth inning. Tyler Hall singled to plate a pair and cut the Eagles\’ lead to one run, and the Hornets went ahead on an RBI double by Justin Borst and a single by John Hall, giving Valley a 4-3 lead.
Tyrone tied it with an unearned run in the fifth when Mingle, on base after a Grissinger throwing error, scored on a single up the middle by Soellner.
“Give Brit and Derrick credit. They work the pitchers,” said Coleman. “Derrick\’s really been hitting well. He seems to be in a zone lately and we\’re fortunate to have athletes that – if as a team we\’re not hitting – there\’s a couple that are usually hot in the line up.”
Game Notes: Soellner is now 5-for-7 with three double in his last three games….Mingle took over the top spot on the squad with his 16th hit….the Eagles play on the road for the first time in six games today when they travel to Mount Union ….Tyrone next three games are all against MAC Division 3 opponents….the Eagles beat Mount Union 11-7 on April 20.
Tyrone 5 Juniata Valley 4
JUNIATA VALLEY – Grissinger, ss, 4-0-0; Lightner, p, 4-1-1; Boyd, 3b, 4-1-1; Feagley, rf, 2-0-0; T. Hall, c, 3-1-1; Borst, 1b, 2-1-1; J. Hall, dh, 2-0-1; Patterson, lf, 0-0-0; Gildea, 2b, 3-0-1; Hostler, cf, 2-0-1. TOTALS: 26-4-7
TYRONE – Ba. Gummo, lf, 3-1-0; M. Soellner, cf, 4-0-0; Mertiff, ss, 4-0-1; Mingle, rf, 3-3-1; C. Wilson, 1b, 3-0-1; Be. Gummo, 2b, 4-1-0; D. Soellner, c, 3-0-3; Myers, cr, 0-0-0; Maceno, p, 3-0-0; Cushion, 3b, 1-0-0; Rickards, 3b, 2-0-0. TOTALS: 30-5-6
Juniata Valley 000 400 0 – 4-7-7.
Tyrone 102 010 1 – 5-6-2.
2B: D. Soellner, Mertiff, Borst
RBI: Mertiff, D. Soellner 2, Borst, T. Hall 2, J. Hall
K: Maceno 1, Lightner 4.
BB: Maceno 2, Lightner 4.
WP: Maceno LP: Lightner.