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Wilson pitches Golden Eagles past Marauders in Curve Classic

In only his first full year as a varsity pitcher, Tyrone ace Clint Wilson is going to have his good days and bad days.
His last appearance nearly two weeks ago at West Branch was a bad day. The senior lefty was touched for 13 hits – four for extra bases – and 11 runs as he struggled to find command of his pitches in the Eagles’ worst loss of the season.
But the best thing about up-and-coming pitchers is that they can learn from their mistakes. Wilson did, and he showed it yesterday in the first round of the Dean Patterson Curve Classic against Bishop Guilfoyle at Blair County Ballpark.
Wilson allowed just one run on three hits – two of which never made it past the infield dirt – while fanning seven as Tyrone cruised into the semifinals with a 6-1 victory. It was Wilson’s second victory and third complete game in four starts, making it a very good day.
Wilson dominated BG’s lineup from top to bottom, allowing only three base runners to get as far as second base. The only blemish against him came in the second inning when Marauder pitcher and cleanup hitter Tom Gibbons connected with a 2-2 fastball and drove it over the wall in left center.
Only five other Marauders reached base over the next five innings, as Wilson demonstrated a resilience forged in games like the one at West Branch.
“He came out today on a mission,” said Tyrone manager Tom Coleman. “He really only made one bad pitch and he dominated the game. He came up big for us when we really needed him to.”
The win evened Wilson’s record at 2-2 and it took nearly an entire point off his ERA, which now stands at 3.25 after being inflated against the Warriors.
The Eagles improved to 6-2 and will play Hollidaysburg, which edged defending Dean Patterson Curve Classic champ Huntingdon 5-4, on Saturday at 1 p.m. Before that, they will face Juniata Valley today on the road.
Rebounding along with Wilson was senior infielder Brice Mertiff, who after a slow start at the plate this season registered his second straight two-hit game. His two-run double in the bottom of the fourth inning broke a 1-1 tie and provided all the runs the Eagles would need. He finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored and boosted his batting average to .360 – nearly 50 points higher than where it began at the start of the week.
Derrick Soellner and Josh Clark also had two hits and the Eagles’ defense went error-free for th­e second consecutive game. But with Wilson in the groove he found himself in as the game wore on, there wasn’t much opportunity for booting the ball – of Tyrone’s 21 outs recorded, seven were by strikeout and 10 by fly out.
Tyrone tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the third when Soellner doubled on a 3-2 pitch with two outs to plate Mertiff.
The Eagles added four more runs the very next inning and were never threatened again. Ben Gummo followed Mertiff’s 2 RBI double with a single to right that scored Tyler Golden and later set the table for Mertiff to steal home with a big lead off first base that was enough to entice the left-handed Givens to throw over. Mertiff scooted home on the toss and Tyrone led 5-1.
Clark then manufactured an insurance run in the sixth to give the Eagles a five-run cushion. After leading off with a single, he stole second and advanced to third when catcher Andy Garofoli’s throw down went into the outfield. He later scored on a wild pitch.
Clark’s run in the sixth inning gave the Eagles three runs from the 7, 8 and 9 spots in the order, which drew the praise of Coleman.
“The bottom part of our lineup did a great job of setting the table for the top of the order,” Coleman said. “Everybody came out ready to play today, and we played all seven innings.”
Gibbons was strong in the loss, going six innings and striking out seven while walking only two. Only three of the six runs he surrendered were earned as the 3-5 Marauders committed three errors, including two throwing errors by the normally accurate Garofoli, one of which opened the floodgates for Tyrone’s big fourth inning.
Diamond Notes: Tyrone has now hit 26 doubles this season … Wilson has retired the side in order in the first inning in all four of his starts this season … Soellner batted from the clean-up spot normally filled by Wilson, who moved to the five-hole. It was the first change in the top five of Tyrone’s batting order this season.
Tyrone 6 Bishop Guilfoyle 1
BISHOP GUILFOYLE – Zimmerman, cf, 3-0-0; Seasoltz, ss, 2-0-0; Garofoli, c, 2-0-0; Gibbons, p, 3-1-2; Sipes, 3b, 3-0-0; A. Williams, 2b, 2-0-0; Bookhamer, ph, 1-0-0; N. Williams, 1b, 2-0-0; Sheedy, pr, 0-0-0; Milliron, rf, 2-0-0; McGraw, ph, 1-0-0; Craig, lf, 2-0-1; Haney, ph, 1-0-0. TOTALS: 24-1-3.
TYRONE – Mertiff, ss, 4-2-2; Gummo, 2b, 3-0-1; Mingle, rf, 3-0-1; Soellner, c, 3-0-2; Morrissey, cr, 0-0-0; Wilson, p, 2-0-0; Levinson, cr, 0-0-0; Gillmen, 3b, 2-1-0; Myers, lf, 0-0-0; Stotler, dh, 3-1-0; Clark, cf, 3-1-2; Golden, 1b, 3-1-0. TOTALS: 26-6-8.
BISHOP GUILFOYLE 010 000 0 – 1-3-3.
TYRONE 001 401 X – 6-8-0.
2B: Mertiff, Soellner.
HR: Givens.
RBI: Mertiff 2, Gummo, Soellner, Givens.
SB: Mertiff, Mingle, Clark.
K: Wilson 7, Givens 7.
BB: Wilson 2, Givens 2.
WP: Wilson LP: Givens.