Eagles rally falls short against P-O

It wasn’t the victory Tyrone was hoping for over Class AAA Philipsburg-Osceola, but if the moxy the Eagles showed in their 13-9 loss to the Mounties yesterday stays with them during their run to qualify for the District 6 playoffs, it may be just as good.
Tyrone fell behind P-O 13-3 by the sixth inning, good enough to invoke the 10-run mercy rule, but rallied to score four runs in the bottom of the frame and extend the game. Another pair in their final at-bat pulled the Eagles within four when it would have been easy to mail this one in and start thinking of today’s game against Mount Union.
The Golden Eagles never did that, and manager Tom Coleman took note.
“I was pleased that in the later innings, we played with more of a relaxed attitude, took a fun approach to the game and battled back,” he said. “We can build on this and the way we’re playing now, I have confidence in this group.”
If the Eagles are kicking themselves today, it’s because they rarely found a way against P-O to get back into their own dugout after recording two outs. In all, the Mounties scored 10 runs with two away and hit three of their four extra-base hits.
The worst scenario occurred in the fifth inning. Two innings earlier, Tyrone scored a pair of runs to cut P-O’s lead to 3-2, but a three-run homer by AJ Czap threatened to open the floodgates on the Eagles. But starting pitcher Johnny Shaffer settled down to retire the next two batters before struggling with his control. He walked three batters, hit another, surrendered a hit and saw one ball go through the grasp of Doug Rudy and into the outfield.
The net result was P-O led 9-2 in the fifth.
The Mounties scored four more in the sixth in a similar situation when reliever Donny Hunter retired the first two batters before the Mounties unloaded. Tim Gray delivered a single that scored two, and catcher Nick Czap doubled home two more to extend P-O’s lead to 10.
Shaffer took the loss, his second in as many starts, pitching into the fifth inning and allowing eight earned runs. Shaffer held the Mounties scoreless in three of his four complete innings, but twice was burnt when Tyrone couldn’t nail down the final out.
At the plate, Shaffer continued a tear that began last week against Bishop Guilfoyle. The 6-2 sophomore went 2-for-4 with two runs, two RBI and a home run. In the last three games, Shaffer is 6-for-9 with six runs, two home runs, and two doubles.
His solo bomb to left in the fifth inning pulled Tyrone within 9-3 before the Mounties put four on the board in the sixth.
But Tyrone responded in the bottom of the inning with four runs of its own to make it 13-7. All of the runs were scored with two outs, three coming when Golden sent a shot to center that was misplayed by AJ Czap for a three-base error that made it 13-6. Tyler Gillmen doubled to center one batter later to bring around Golden.
In the seventh, Aaron Cunningham reached on an infield single, and Justin Schopp followed with a walk. Both players scored on a two-base error off the bat of Hunter.
“They got the big hits with two outs, and if we could have done that earlier in the game, it might have been different,” Coleman said.
Despite the loss, Tyrone continued to show signs of breaking out of a team-wide hitting slump that had the Eagles batting a collective .266 at the start of the week. They now have 22 hits in their last two games, eight of which went for extra bases.
GAME NOTES: Schopp extended his hitting streak to six games … in his first pitching appearance of the season, Hunter went three innings and allowed two earned runs … Tyrone dropped to 5-6 overall, while P-O evened its record at 5-5 … the Eagles host Mount Union today at 4 p.m.
PHILIPSBURG-OSCEOLA – M. Curtis, ss-p, 4-2-2; Mason, cf-rf, 3-2-0; A. Czap, p-cf, 4-2-2; Mills, 1b, 5-0-1; Maurer, dh, 5-0-0; Husted, 2b-p, 0-0-0; Supko, rf-lf, 4-2-1; Shimmel, lf, 2-1-0; L. Curtis, 3b, 1-1-0; Gray, 3b-2b, 3-2-2; Z. Czap, c, 3-1-1; Bennet, ph, 0-0-0. TOTALS: 34-13-9.
TYRONE – Rudy, 2b, 3-0-0; Moore, 2b, 2-0-0; Hunter, rf-p, 3-2-1; Shaffer, p-rf-1b, 4-2-2; Golden, 1b-3b, 4-1-1; Gillmen, lf, 4-0-1; Levinson, ss, 2-0-1; Hoover, ss, 0-0-0; Anders, c, 4-0-0; Brooks, 3b, 2-0-0; Cunningham, rf, 2-1-1; Schopp, cf, 2-3-1. TOTALS: 32-9-8.
PHILIPSBURG- 003 064 0 – 13-9-4
TYRONE 002 014 X – 9-8-3
2B: Gillmen, M. Curtis, Mills, Z. Czap
HR: A. Czap, Shaffer
RBI: M. Curtis, A. Czap 3, Mills 2, Gray 3, Hunter, Shaffer 2, Golden 4, Gillmen
SB: Schopp
K: A. Czap 2, Husted 1, M. Curtis 1, Shaffer 4
BB: A. Czap 3, Husted 4, M. Curtis 1, Shaffer 5, Hunter 1
WP: A. Czap LP: Shaffer