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Seven-run second keys Eagles over Mount Union

Steady as a rock Tyrone sophomore Eric Desch wheels and fires toward home plate on Thursday at the Harry K. Sickler Athletic Complex, where the Eagles spotted Mt. Union a 3-0 lead, before coming back to take a 9-6 victory. (The Daily Herald/Bob Miller)

Here’s where playing one of the toughest schedules any Double-A team in this area will face pays off: it’s the first inning, you’re playing traditional power Mount Union, and you’ve fallen behind 3-0.
There are different ways to respond to that situation. One is to put your tail between your legs and say, Here we go again. Another is to say, We’ve been here before against better competition. Let’s go get this one.
The often challenged but little rewarded Tyrone Golden Eagles chose the latter route yesterday against the Trojans at the Harry K. Sickler Athletic Fields, and it paid off in a big way. Tyrone rallied with seven runs in the second inning en route to a 9-6 upset over Mount Union to register its second victory this season.
“It’s huge,” Tyrone manager Dustin Schoening said of the win. “Mount Union is a quality team. To get a win over a program of that caliber means a lot to the kids. The teams we’ve been losing to have been pretty good, not just for our area, but the entire state, so we were hoping the kids wouldn’t lose sight of the fact that we’re pretty close to being where we want to be. The schedule definitely helps in games like this.”
It also helps to have a pitcher like sophomore Eric Desch to just give the baseball and say, Go to work. That’s what Schoening did yesterday, and Desch, as he did in his previous two starts, delivered. After a rough first inning in which the Trojans (6-2) plated three runs, Desch settled to scatter two runs on seven hits overt the final six innings to improve to 2-1. He fanned four and allowed just one base on balls.
“The team seems to rally behind him,” Schoening said of his southpaw. “He’s definitely established himself as a leader among our pitchers. He’s very confident out there – he knows that he has talent, so even when he’s in a jam, he’s in control.”
After Tyrone (2-6) took its big lead, Desch didn’t have to worry too much about pitching out of a jam. The Trojans scored a pair of runs in the fourth to pull within 9-6, and in the fifth Desch worked his way out of a first-and-third situation with one out. But over the last two innings, Mount Union managed just one base runner.
Cody Hollibaugh pitched all six innings and took the loss for Mount Union, striking out four and walking three.
Cole Walters, who finished 3-for-4 with two runs, doubled home two runs in the first as the Trojans built their 3-0 lead, but Tyrone got all of those back and more by the bottom of the second inning.
Designated hitter Jordan Taylor got the Eagles on the board with a sacrifice fly to left, and Matt Brooks followed up with an RBI single. Later, with the bases loaded, Johnny Shaffer delivered a triple that cleared the bases and put Tyrone ahead 6-3. Donnie Hunter ended the scoring with a run-scoring single, building a 7-3 lead that Mount Union could never overcome.
An inning later, after the Trojans made it 7-4, Taylor, Brooks and Cunningham each singled to load the bases. Doug Rudy brought one run in when his grounder to short was booted by Elliot Clemmens, and Shaffer plated another with a sacrifice fly to right.
For Schoening, it was a welcome sight to see his team stringing together hits and plating runs after playing three consecutive games with two hits, two hits and three hits, respectively. He also said it was also good to see the club hang in there after falling behind early.
“We’ve been pretty close lately and today we were back to hitting line drives and hitting with confidence,” he said. “It was a relief. When you get down 3-0 by the second, you start thinking, Oh no, here we go again. But we needed one like this where we could break through.”
Shaffer, Hunter and Brooks each had two hits for Tyrone, which despite its success at the plate left nine runners on base. Along with Walters, Brock Imperoli had three hits for the Trojans.
Tyrone 9 Mount Union 6
Mount Union – Norrow, lf, 3-2-1; Beaston, cf, 4-1-1; Walters, c, 4-2-3; Dixon, 1b, 4-0-1; Burke, pr, 0-0-0; Hollibaugh, p, 0-0-0; Goodling, dh, 4-0-1; Clemmens, ss, 4-0-0; Smith, rf, 3-0-0; Walker, ph, 1-0-0; Imperoli, 3b, 4-1-3; Grainey, 2b, 2-0-0. TOTALS: 33-6-10.
Tyrone – Cunningham, cf, 4-1-1; Rudy, ss, 4-1-0; Shaffer, 1b, 2-1-2; Anders, c, 4-0-0; Hunter, lf, 4-1-2; Moore, 2b, 3-1-1; Desch, p, 0-0-0; Taylor, dh, 3-1-1; Brooks, rf, 4-2-2; Hoover, 3b, 3-1-1. TOTALS: 30-9-10.
Mount Union 301 200 0 – 6-10-5
Tyrone 072 000 X – 9-10-5
E: Shaffer, Rudy 2, Moore, Hunter, Clemmens 2, Imperoli 3.
2B: Hunter, Walters, Dixon.
3B: Shaffer.
RBI: Shaffer 4, Rudy, Hunter, Taylor, Brooks, Hoover, Walters 4, Goodling.
SO: Hollibaugh 4, Desch 4.
BB: Hollibaugh 3, Desch 1.
WP: Desch LP: Hollibaugh