Big innings carry Golden Eagles to win over Knights

Tyrone was milling around, trailing another team it probably should have led, and looking like nine guys waiting for something to happen in the third inning yesterday against Moshannon Valley.
The Eagles looked, frankly, like a team in need of a spark. What they got was a lightning bolt off the bat of sophomore Johnny Shaffer, who clobbered a 1-0 delivery from Black Knight starter BJ Stevens and served it over the fence in right field for a 2-run home run. It was Shaffer’s first of the season, and it tied the game at 4-4.
More than anything, Shaffer’s round-tripper jolted the Eagles’ lineup. Two more extra-base hits and six runs would follow in the third inning alone as Tyrone posted a season-high run total in a 17-4 10-run rule victory suspended in the fifth inning.
In all, Tyrone hitters stroked six hits for extra bases as part of a 13-hit barrage that tore its way through four different Mo Valley pitchers. It was the Eagles’ most productive day offensively this season and their first win by 10-run rule.
“All through the season, our main goal has been to put the ball in play,” Tyrone manager Tom Coleman said. “One through nine in our lineup did a good job of that today. We got the extra-base hits in key situations, and hopefully that’s something that will carry over.”
Junior Randy Hoover improved to 2-0, coming on in relief of starter Mike Romano in the third inning. He held the Knights scoreless and allowed only two hits in three innings, while striking out five.
Romano pitched into the third, but struggled from a lack of control. He allowed four earned runs and walked four in a little over two innings.
Stevens took the loss, surrendering 10 runs (9 earned) and eight hits in 2 1-3 innings.
“Randy came in when we needed him, set a good pace and gave us momentum,” said Coleman. “He threw strikes, and then we started to hit the ball well by the third inning.”
Did they ever. Tyler Golden followed Shaffer’s homer with a triple off the right field fence, and scored when Tyler Gillmen deposited a double in almost the same spot. Gillmen scored on an RBI single by Matt Brooks and Tyrone led 6-4.
Later in the inning, Golden drove in two more with a single down the third base line, making it 10-4. In all, Tyrone sent 13 batters to the plate in the third and scored eight runs.
The Eagles scored seven more runs an inning later to position themselves for a Mercy Rule shortened game. Brooks lined another run-scoring single into right field to plate Jamie Levinson, and later came around to score on a 2 RBI double by Shaffer that made it 13-4. Aaron Cunningham put a lid on the scoring later in the inning with a run-scoring double into shallow right, later coming around to score on a wild pitch.
For all of the offensive fireworks, Tyrone trailed twice early. Valley went up 2-0 against Romano in the second on an RBI double by Brint Brumbaugh, only to see the Eagles tie the game in the bottom of the frame on a two-run triple by Justin Schopp.
Undeterred, the Knights came back an inning later and went ahead 4-2, thanks in part to back-to-back doubles from Eric Dudurich and Tom Rowley.
In similar situations earlier this year, Tyrone found it difficult to piece together hits, and even more difficult to cap off a string of singles with an extra base hit. Heading into yesterday’s game, the Eagles had only 10 extra-base hits all season.
The Eagles may have eventually matched that, had the game went an inning longer. Instead, they settled for a win that got them back to .500 overall (5-5) and one game below even in MAC Division III play (3-4).
It was also the kind of win a team like Tyrone needs at the start of a 5-game week that includes games with the likes of Philipsburg-Osceola and Mount Union.
“We need to start to peak, and the best time would be this week,” Coleman said. “We need to put something together, and be consistent. We’ve got to click if we’re going to win some games and make a run for the playoffs.”
GAME NOTES: Catcher Brock Anders walked for the sixth time in the last two games. He now has 12 on the season, second only to Shaffer’s 13 … Cunningham played only one inning in the field, serving mostly as Anders’ courtesy runner, giving him the unusual line of one at-bat, one hit and four runs … Hunter, Shaffer, Levinson, Golden and Brooks all had two hits … Doug Rudy drove in two runs from the leadoff spot.
MOSHANNON VALLEY – B. Baughman, 3b, 3-0-1; Hane, ss, 2-0-0; E. Dudurich, cf, 3-1-1; Rowley, 2b-p, 2-1-1; Stevens, p-2b, 0-0-0; J. Dudurich, dh, 2-1-1; Baughman, 2b, 0-0-0; Hutton, p-2b, 0-0-0; Stouffer, lf, 2-1-0; Callovini, c-p, 3-0-0; Godin, 1b, 1-0-1; Zenduck, rf, 2-1-0. TOTALS: 20-4-5.
TYRONE – Rudy, dh, 3-1-0; Hunter, rf, 3-2-2; Desch, rf, 0-0-0; Shaffer, 1b, 3-2-2; Wilburn, 1b, 0-0-0; Golden, 2b, 3-1-2; Moore, 2b, 0-0-0; Gillmen, lf, 3-1-1; Cunningham, cr-lf, 1-4-1; Levinson, ss, 3-2-2; Anders, c, 0-0-0; Decker, c, 1-0-0; Brooks, 3b, 3-2-2; Schopp, cf, 2-2-1. TOTALS: 26-17-13.
MO VALLEY 022 00 – 4- 5-2
TYRONE 028 7X – 17-13-0
2B: Gillmen, Shaffer, Cunningham, B. Baughman, Rowley, E. Dudurich
3B: Golden, Schopp
HR: Shaffer
RBI: B. Baughman, Rowley, Godin, Rudy 2, Shaffer 4, Golden 2, Gillmen 2, Brooks 2, Schopp 3, Cunningham
SB: Schopp 2, Cunningham 2, Hunter, Gillmen, Levinson
K: Hoover 5, Romano 2, Stevens 2, Callouini 3
BB: Hoover 1, Romano 4, Stevens 3, Hutton 2, Rowley 2, Callovini 1
WP: Hoover LP: Stevens