Pearson provides spark for Tyrone Legion

Andrew Pearson set the tone for Tyrone Legion in the first inning of the George B. Kelley Federation championship series opener.

In the top of the first, Martin Oil’s Joe Dorminy smoked one toward the left-center gap with a runner on first, and Pearson chased down the ball and laid out to snag it, killing a potential rally.

“I saw it off the bat. He hit it pretty hard,” Pearson said. “It kept getting lower and lower, but I just went for it. I hit the ground, rolled over and had it in my glove.”

Pearson then led off the bottom half of the inning with a double down the left-field line and scored on Matt Savino’s single for a quick 1-0 lead.

“He’s our spark plug. He’s been doing that all year,” Tyrone coach Kevin Soellner said.

Tyrone added three runs in second and four more in the fourth for a 7-2 win Sunday at Vets Field and a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five championship series.

The lower part of the Tyrone batting order accounted for the three runs in the second and fourth innings.

After Matt Stoner brought home Brandon Lucas with a sacrifice fly in the second, Bryce Hunter hit a triple over the right fielder’s head to score Colson Lewis.

Blaine Hoover followed with a single that plated Hunter for a 4-0 lead.

In the fourth, Nic Light and Lewis reached to start the inning. Stoner tried to advance them with a bunt, but popped it up.

Pitcher Dylan Young made the catch, but threw the ball down the right-field line trying to double Lewis off first.

Light scored on the error, and Lewis ended up on third base.

Hunter drove in Lewis with a double, and Hoover followed with a triple that scored Hunter and put Tyrone up 7-0.

“Our whole lineup hits well. Guys who hit eight and nine are capable of hitting one and two. They do a good job of turning the lineup over,” Soellner said.

After giving up two hits in the first inning, Cory Lehman held Martin Oil to just three hits over the next five innings to get the win.

“I was going inside with my fastball to bust them on the hands and going off-speed to mess up their timing,” Lehman said.

He tired in the seventh and gave up a pair of runs before Lucas came on to get three straight batters and seal the win.

“They used up most of their pitching getting here so we had to get this one,” Soellner said.

For Martin Oil, it was the eighth game in eight days.

“We’re a little wore out. We’re going to have show some life and some resiliency to bounce back and make it a series,” Martin Oil coach Brock Anders said.

The matchup is a repeat of last year’s championship series, but Martin Oil is fielding a much younger team than the one that beat Tyrone in the finals a year ago.

“We lost about six or seven guys from last year’s team. We’ve pretty much built a whole new team,” Anders said. “It’s a rematch, but they were pretty young last year. This year, we’re the younger team.”

Game 2 is scheduled for 7 p.m. tonight at Vets Field.

MARTIN OIL (2): Kost cf 202, Shaulis lf 400, Dorminy rf 401, Guyer c 301, Stewart ss-3b 300, Young p-ss 210, Walker 3b-p 211, Johnston 1b 200, Bollinger 2b 100. Totals — 23 2 5.

TYRONE LEGION (7): Pearson cf 311, Savino ss 301, Lehner c-3b 301, Lehman p-eh 300, Lucas rf-p 311, Light 1b 111, Lewis eh-rf 321, Stoner 3b 100, Buck c 100, Hunter lf 222, Hoover 2b 302. Totals — 26 7 10.

SCORE BY INNINGS

Martin Oil 000 000 2–2 5 1

Tyrone Legion 130 300 x–7 10 2

E–Young, Stoner, Light. 2B–Guyer, Pearson, Lehner, Hunter. 3B–Hunter, Hoover. RBI–Bollinger, Kost, Savino, Stoner, Hunter 2, Hoover 2. WP–Lehman. LP–Young. SO–Young 1, Walker 1, Lehman 4, Lucas 1. BB–Young 1, Walker 2, Lehman 3.

Tryone Legion leads the best-of-five series 1-0.

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