When Tyrone manager Dustin Schoening looked at his line up before the season started, he thought it was a group better suited for manufacturing runs than setting the table and blasting them home. And through four games, he’s been right.
With the Golden Eagles averaging 8.5 runs per game through the first two weeks, it’s hard to say their style has been ineffective, but it’s definitely not quite as efficient as the set-‘em-up and clear-‘em-off game displayed by Bellefonte yesterday at the Harry K. Sickler Athletic Complex.
Behind sluggers Mike Fisher and Frank Parkes, who each drove in three runs, the Red Raiders slammed four home runs and posted a .705 team slugging percentage in Bellefonte’s 10-6 victory over the Golden Eagles.
Fisher had two home runs in his first two at-bats, while Parkes homered and tripled as Bellefonte pounded out 14 hits. Ryan Poorman added another round-tripper, one of eight Red Raiders to hit safely.
Sophomore Austin Barefoot, in his first varsity start, took the loss, lasting 3 2/3 innings and suffering most of the damage. He allowed 9 earned runs and 10 hits before Matt Brooks came on in relief in the fourth inning.
Cole McClarren was the winner, pitching 5 complete innings and allowing 2 earned runs on four hits.
“I told him I like the fact that he’s throwing strikes,” Schoening said. “That’s huge. We want him to continue doing that, but he’s got to keep the ball at the knees and place it better. But he’s only in tenth grade – that will come with maturity and practice and experience.”
Barefoot’s experience yesterday included a lot of twisting his neck and rotating his hips to watch rocket shots clear the 360-foot fence. It made the contrast in styles between the two schools abundantly clear. While the Eagles had a pair of innings where they put up three runs, Bellefonte nearly put the game away in just one, when they scored six in the top of the fourth.
Only one of those runs was a manufactured run (Nick Harter scored from third on a sacrifice fly by Josh Wensel to make it 4-0). The other five came on a two-run homer to left by Fisher and a three-run bomb to center by Parkes. When it was all said and done, Tyrone was down 9-0 and looking the 10-run mercy rule square in the eye.
“We’re close right now,” said Schoening. “We’ve got to eliminate some mistakes, get some breaks, and eliminate that one big inning. It’s going to turn around.”
Rather than folding, Tyrone responded with three runs in the bottom of the frame to make it 9-3. Mike Moore drove in one run with a single to left – one of three hits for the designated hitter – and Eric Loose plated another with a sacrifice fly.
The Raiders got one run back quickly two innings later when Parkes started the sixth with a triple to right and scored two batters later when Robby Harter grounded out to second, making it 10-3.
The Golden Eagles again chipped away in the bottom of the frame, but they lacked the big hit to put them back in the game immediately. Donnie Hunter drove in a run on a sacrifice fly to right, Doug Rudy legged out an infield single to plate Loose, and Brock Anders walked with the bases loaded to make it 10-6. But Brooks grounded out to the pitcher with the bases still packed, part of the 9 runners Tyrone stranded for the game.
Four of the runners the Eagles left on base were in scoring position, including three cut down between third and home. In the second, Shaffer got hung up on a grounder to Parkes at third and was tagged out trying to make it back to the bag. In the fourth, with the bases loaded, Rudy froze at third when Brooks chopped one in front of home plate, allowing the catcher Wensel to force out Rudy at home.
“It’s just mental mistakes,” said Schoening. “We work on base-running in practice, on leads, and what to do in certain situations, but that’s practice. We have to do it in the game.”
Bellefonte had built an early 3-0 lead on the strength of two home runs – one a solo shot by Fisher in the first and the other a towering two-run blast to left-center by Poorman in the second.
In all, the top four batters in the Raiders’ line up combined to go 8-for-14 with three home runs, 6 runs and 6 RBI. The Eagles’ top four went 3-for-12 with just one extra-base hit.
BELLEFONTE 10 TYRONE 7
BELLEFONTE – Tressler, ss, 5-1-3; Wensel, c, 4-0-1; Quay, cr, 0-0-0; Fisher, 2b, 4-3-2; Poorman, 1b, 2-2-2; Jabco, lf, 5-1-1; Witherite, lf-p, 0-0-0; Parkes, 3b, 3-2-2; Bryant, dh, 3-0-1; McClarren, p, 0-0-0; Gummo, p, 0-0-0; Harter, cf, 4-1-2; Musser, rf, 3-0-0; Hohn, ph, 0-0-0. TOTALS: 34-10-14.
TYRONE – Cunningham, cf, 4-0-0; Hunter, lf, 3-0-0; Rudy, ss, 2-0-1; Shaffer, 1b-3b, 3-2-2; Anders, c, 3-0-0; Simms, cr, 0-1-0; Brooks, 3b-p, 4-1-0; Moore, dh, 3-1-3; Barefoot, p, 0-0-0; Desch, 1b, 0-0-0; Bruch, rf, 1-0-0; Loose, rf, 2-1-1; Hoover, 2b, 3-1-1; Decker, ph, 0-0-0. TOTALS: 28-6-7.
BELLEFONTE 102 601 0 – 10-14-2
TYRONE 000 303 0 – 6-7 0
E: Parkes, Tressler.
2B: Shaffer, Moore.
HR: Fisher (2), Poorman, Parkes.
RBI: Cunningham, Hunter, Rudy, Anders, Moore, Loose, Wensel, Fisher (3), Poorman (2), Parkes (3), Harter
SO: McClarren 2, Witherite 1.
BB: McClarren 3, Gummo 2, Witherite 1, Barefoot 3, Brooks 3.
WP: McClarren LP: Barefoot