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Eagles loss rematch to Penns Valley

Tyler Gillmen wasn’t in an impossible position yesterday on the hill against Penns Valley, but it was pretty close.
The senior right-hander didn’t have his best stuff, but pitchers find ways to win everyday without that. Gillmen could have, too. He allowed only six hits and pitched out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the second, recording the final out when he caught Cory Niederer looking at a curve ball.
The real problem was his control. Gillmen walked 11 batters in 4-plus innings – one in the first with the bases loaded – as Tyrone dropped its third consecutive game, 7-5 in Spring Mills.
Tyrone (5-7) has now lost three of its last four games and seven of its last nine, leaving the Golden Eagles’ playoff hopes in doubt entering the final week of the regular season.
“We need a win or that could be the season,” said Tyrone manager Tom Coleman. “We’ll see what we do (today against West Branch) and then on Monday (against Southern Huntingdon). We’ll see how our play is and see if we can get players one through nine playing consistently.”
What’s got to be disconcerting for Coleman is that the Rams are a team his club defeated a month ago, leaving a question mark on the direction the team is headed.
“We just can’t seem to get over the hump,” said Coleman. “We’re not a team that can battle back from adversity. The mistakes we make always cost us and today it cost us big.”
They weren’t the typical mistakes because for the first time in four games the Eagles went without committing a fielding error. But there were other slip-ups that were just as costly. Trailing 5-4 in the fourth, Matt Brooks rounded second base wide on a sacrifice attempt by Mike Romano and was tagged out when he slipped and fell.
In the fifth, Donnie Hunter singled to lead off the inning, but was doubled up off first when Justin Schopp popped up his sacrifice bunt attempt back to pitcher Dennis Alterio.
In a two-run game, those kind of mistakes were crucial.
“Eleven walks and some bad mistakes aren’t going to keep you in the game,” said Coleman.
Alterio was the complete-game winner, allowing only two earned runs and no walks while striking out five.
But the Eagles were able to score twice off of him in the first inning to take a 2-0 lead. Aaron Cunningham led off with an infield single, and scored when Schopp advanced to third on a three-base error by center fielder Taylor Wingard. Johnny Shaffer lifted a sacrifice fly to right one batter later to plate Schopp.
Valley answered immediately, scoring three in the bottom of the first. Gillmen fanned leadoff hitter Adam Brown, but then walked Jason Kieffer and Alterio. Nate Frankenberger’s single to right scored both of them and tied the game at 2-2, and a bases loaded walk to Andy Bogus put the Rams up 3-2.
Tyrone tied the game in the third on a run-scoring single to center by Schopp that plated Jamie Levinson, and went ahead when an error at short by Jake Homan off the bat of Tyler Golden brought home Schopp.
But two more walks in the third set the table for a 2 RBI single by Brown making it 5-4. Tyrone tied it at 5-5 in the fourth when Romano scored from third on a pickoff move to first by Alterio that had Levinson caught in a rundown just long enough for Romano to come home.
Wingard reclaimed Penns Valley’s lead for good in the bottom of the fourth with an RBI double that made it 6-5. Gillmen was then pulled in favor of Hunter in the fifth after walking Homan, who later came around to score on a wild pitch.
Tyrone turned two double plays and had the bottom three in its batting order go 5-for-9, with Brooks and Levinson each pounding two hits apiece. But walks and mental lapses put the kybosh on an otherwise relatively solid performance for the Eagles.
PENNS VALLEY 7 TYRONE 5
TYRONE – Cunningham, lf, 1-1-1; Hunter, lf-p, 2-0-1; Schopp, cf, 4-2-1; Shaffer, 1b, 2-0-0; Golden, 2b, 3-0-0; Gillmen, p-lf, 3-0-0; Anders, c, 3-0-0; Brooks, 3b, 3-0-2; Romano, rf, 3-1-1; Levinson, ss, 3-1-2. TOTALS: 27-5-8.
PENNS VALLEY – Brown, 3b, 3-0-1; Jo. Kieffer, c, 0-0-0; Herrold, cr, 0-1-0; D. Alterio, p, 1-0-1; Fultz, cr, 0-1-0; Frankenberger, 1b, 3-1-1; Ja. Kieffer, rf, 4-0-0; Niederer, 2b, 4-1-2; Wingard, cf, 2-0-2; Bogus, lf, 1-1-0; Homan, ss, 1-2-0. TOTALS: 20-7-6.
TYRONE 202 100 0 – 5-8-0
PENNS VALLEY 302 110 0 – 7-6-2
2B: Wingard
RBI: Brown 2, Alterio, Frankenberger, Niederer, Bogus, Schopp, Shaffer
SB: Schopp, Romano
K: Alterio 5, Gillmen 4, Hunter 1
BB: Gillmen 11, Hunter 1
WP: Alterio LP: Gillmen