Sports Tyrone Daily Herald Archives

Golden Eagles do everything but win

The Tyrone Golden Eagles did everything you could ask to beat Huntingdon on the road yesterday.
Everything, that is, except score runs.
The Eagles smoked the ball at the plate, turned two double plays, picked off two runners stealing and another turning too wide around third on a single, and went without committing a fielding error for the second time this season.
But it wasn’t enough. After scoring three runs early off starter Donnie Hunter, the Bearcats were able to do just enough to hold on for a 3-0 victory, thanks in no small part to pitcher Andy Young. The senior right-hander went the distance for his third win of the season, scattering six hits and striking out six while walking only one.
Not surprisingly, it was Huntingdon’s third win as a team, as well, improving the ‘Cats’ to 3-7. The Eagles, meanwhile, after seemingly breaking out of their offensive funk in last Thursday’s 9-6 win over Mount Union, fell to 2-7.
“He was one of the best pitchers we’ve seen all year,” Tyrone manager Dustin Schoening said. “He threw hard, and had good off-speed stuff. He was pretty tough.”
Young’s stuff, combined with the kind of defense the ‘Cats played behind him, made him all but invincible. Tyrone had at least two base runners on in three different innings and had one runner in scoring position twice. Every time, the answer was a Young strike out or an amazing defensive play to stifle a rally.
In the third, Nick Long changed the complexion of the game for the next four innings with a play that may well have saved the game for the Bearcats and Young. With the bases loaded with two outs, Tyrone centerfielder Aaron Cunningham rocketed a hot liner into left, forcing Long to charge hard and dive forward to make a play.
An inch up or down, a step or two slow or fast, and the ball would have easily gotten past Long and back to the fence, scoring at least three. But Long made the perfect play and came up with the catch.
Later, in the fifth, Tyrone had two runners aboard for the hot-hitting Johnny Shaffer, who went 2-for-3 with a double. Shaffer got all of Young’s 0-2 delivery, but his smash was knocked down on a diving lunge by shortstop Bret Bayges, who retired Cunningham at second for the second out. Jordan Taylor followed with a shot to the gap in right-center that was tracked down by centerfielder Landon Yingling, who made a stab at the ball and came up with it for the third out.
It continued late in the game. With two outs and a runner aboard in the seventh, Doug Rudy knocked a promising Texas-league blooper into shallow right. Second baseman Bobbie Mort went out on it while Jared Donelson charged in, and the two collided, with Mort nose-diving into Donelson’s ankles, sending him head-over-heels. But Donelson made the catch, ending the game and the Eagles’ final threat.
“They probably made four or five awesome plays,” said Schoening. “They were way above average. Their defense was excellent, but still, we’ve got to bust through that wall.”
The wall Schoening was referring to was the same one that caused them to strand eight men on base; the one that last week limited them to seven hits over three games.
Not that Huntingdon was much better. Base running gaffs alone cost the ‘Cats at least two runs, but with Young dealing like he was, Huntingdon only needed one.
The ‘Cats got it in the top of the first on Donelson’s RBI single to right, plating Derek Heath. Two innings later, Heath scored on Mort’s sacrifice fly to center to make it 2-0, and Donelson scored on a wild pitch.
That closed the books on Hunter, opening the door for senior Randy Hoover to make his most productive appearance of the season. The senior reliever pitched the next three innings, allowing only four hits and no walks to give the Eagles a shot.
But there was nothing doing against Young, who allowed just one ball to leave the infield over the last two innings.
Huntingdon 3 Tyrone 0
TYRONE – Cunningham, cf, 4-0-1; Rudy, ss, 4-0-1; Shaffer, 1b, 3-0-2; Decker, c, 0-0-0; Taylor, dh, 3-0-0; Hunter, p-lf, 3-0-0; Moore, 2b, 3-0-0; Brooks, rf-3b, 3-0-1; Desch, lf, 2-0-0; Brush, ph, 1-0-0; Hoovder, 3b-p, 2-0-0; Loose, ph, 1-0-1. TOTALS: 29-0-6.
Huntingdon – Heath, 2b, 2-2-1; Donelson, rf, 3-1-2; Mort, c, 1-0-1; Young, p, 3-0-1; Stewart, 1b, 3-0-1; Long, lf, 3-0-0; Bayges, ss, 3-0-1; L. Yingling, cf, 2-0-2; Shope, ph, 1-0-0; Minor, dh, 2-0-1; A. Yingling, 3b, 0-0-0. TOTALS: 23-3-10.
Tyrone 000 000 0 – 0- 6-0
Huntingdon 102 000 0 – 3-10-3
E: Bayges 3
2B: Shaffer, Donelson
RBI: Mort, Donelson
SO: Young 6.
BB: Hunter 2, Young 1
WP: Young LP: Hunter