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Late runs give Eagles cushion in victory over Penns Valley

Despite averaging 8.9 runs over their first 11 games, the Tyrone Golden Eagles were yet to score a seventh-inning run entering yesterday’s game in Spring Mills against Penns Valley.
It’s a figure due in large part to the Eagles’ success this season when they’ve been on top. Tyrone had led going into the seventh in every win, and their smallest margin heading into the final frame was two runs.
So with a 5-2 lead as they approached their final at-bat, it didn’t look like the Eagles would need to add on, especially with senior pitcher Clint Wilson on top of his game and ready to go the distance. But that didn’t stop Tyrone from scoring four important insurance runs in the top of the seventh – runs that would ultimately be the difference in what ended up a 9-5 Eagle victory.
It was Tyrone’s second consecutive win after back-to-back losses to end last week, and it improved the Eagles to 8-4 overall and 5-2 in Division III of the MAC. Wilson logged his third win of the season, improving to 3-2, while recording the staff’s first complete game since March 31 when he went five innings in a mercy-rule suspended game against Southern Huntingdon.
After blasting 11 extra-base hits a day earlier in the rarified air of Glendale, the Eagles managed just one yesterday, but they were able to manufacture runs late to give Wilson a cushion to work with in the seventh.
“We jumped out early and rode that lead until they scored, and then we were able to get some important insurance runs.” Said Tyrone manager Tom Coleman. “I think that helped Clint to relax out there, knowing that it wasn’t all on his shoulders.”
That’s not to say the towering lefty couldn’t have handled it. Wilson had command of his fastball and curve ball throughout, and the Rams never quite got a feel for him until their fourth time through the order. He finished with eight strikeouts and three walks.
But clutch hits from Buddy Stotler and Derrick Soellner allowed Wilson to breath easier when the Rams made a push in the bottom of the seventh. Both delivered two RBI singles in Tyrone’s last at-bat as the Eagles extended their lead to 9-2.
Penns Valley (4-7) scored three times in the bottom of the inning – including a run by Jason Homan that saw him dive beneath the tag of Tyler Golden in a run-down on the third base line – and threatened to get more after an RBI single with one out put Josh Hull on board for the fourth time in the game. But Hull broke on a hit-and-run and was doubled off first base by Brinton Mingle after Eric Musser flew out to shallow right.
“Our defense played very well,” Coleman said. “Our defense always seems to rise to the occasion around Clint because they know he’s going to throw strikes and allow the other team to put the ball in play.”
Tyrone jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI double by Soellner and a single by Tyler Gillmen that knocked Ram starter Nate Frankenberger out of the game. Gillmen lined a hot shot back up the middle, clipping Frankenberger’s throwing hand and forcing him out after 1/3 of an inning.
The Eagles manufactured two runs in the fourth using two walks, a fielder’s choice, a sacrifice and a balk to score Stotler and Josh Clark.
Valley cut it to 5-2 in the bottom of the sixth on back-to-back singles by Josh Kieffer and Devin Altiero plated Musser and Hull.
Diamond Notes: Soellner finished 2-for-4 with 3 RBI … Mingle scored two runs and along with his play to end the game also came up with a diving catch of an Andy Foor fly ball in the fifth inning … Hull went 3-for-3 with a double … of the 27 runs Tyrone has scored in its last two games, 11 have been driven home by Soellner and Stotler … the Eagles host Moshannon Valley on Friday in their first home game since April 4 … Penns Valley travels to Philipsburg-Osceola.
Tyrone 9 Penns Valley 5
TYRONE – Mertiff, ss, 4-1-1; Mingle, rf, 4-2-1; Wilson, p, 4-0-1; Myers, cr-lf, 0-1-0; Soellner, c, 4-0-2; Morrissey, cr, 0-2-0; Gillmen, 3b, 3-1-1; Gummo, 2b, 3-0-0; Graham, ph, 1-0-0; Golden, 1b, 0-0-0; Stotler, dh, 3-1-1; Levinson, lf, 2-0-0; Clark, cf, 3-1-1. TOTALS: 31-9-8.
PENNS VALLEY – S. Altiero, lf, 3-1-1; Homan, 2b, 4-1-1; Hull, cf, 3-1-3; Frankenberger, p, 0-0-0; Wenrick, p, 2-0-0; Musser, p, 2-1-1; Jo. Kieffer, c, 3-0-1; D. Altiero, 3b, 3-0-1; Rachau, 1b, 0-0-0; Ja. Kieffer, dh, 3-0-1; Brubaker, rf, 2-1-0; Foor, ss, 2-0-0; Levan, ss, 0-0-0; Miller, ph, 1-0-0. TOTALS: 28-5-9.
TYRONE 300 200 4 – 9-9-0.
PENNS VALLEY 000 002 3 – 5-9-1.
2B: Soellner, Hull.
RBI: Soellner 3, Stotler 2, Mertiff, Gillmen, Homan, Hull, D. Altiero, Jo. Kieffer.
SB: Mertiff 2, Mingle, Hull 2.
K: Wilson 8, Musser 3, Wenrick 2.
BB: Wilson 3, Wenrick 2, Musser 2.
WP: Wilson LP: Wenrick.