Tyrone Legion into final
By John Hartsock
Tyrone Legion made it to last year’s George B. Kelley Federation league championship series before losing in five games to archrival Martin Oil.
The Tyrone team has had a year to chew on that setback, and it has approached this year with a renewed sense of focus.
Tyrone Legion earned a return trip to this season’s best-of-five championship series Friday night at Vets Field by closing out Barton’s Plumbing & Heating in their best-of-three semifinal series.
Winning the series in two straight games, Tyrone Legion mashed out five hits to score four runs in the fourth inning for a 5-3 semifinal-clinching victory. The win earns Tyrone Legion a berth in the championshp series against the winner of the Park Home-Martin Oil semifinal series. That series is currently tied, 1-1 after Martin Oil’s 12-5 victory Friday night, with the deciding game set for tonight.
The championship series begins with the first game at 7 p.m. Sunday.
It’s an opportunity that Tyrone Legion manager Kevin Soellner and his team have been chomping at the bit for over the last 12 months.
“Obviously, that’s our goal every year,” Soellner said. “We’ve pretty much returned our whole team from last year, and we definitely wanted to come back and avenge ourselves.”
Tyrone left-hander Nic Light pitched into the seventh inning to get the victory, spacing nine hits and allowing just three runs. Light left the game after Mitch Barton’s leadoff double in the bottom of the seventh, and righty Kevin Lehner got the final three outs to record the save.
“He pitched a really good game,” Soellner said of Light. “He wanted to finish. He’s very confident out there. He’s 5-0 this year. He changes speeds, and hits his locations super well. He keeps the ball down and gets a lot of ground balls.”
Barton’s manager Jason Grove also felt that Light and Rodney Shultz — Tyrone Legion’s winning pitcher in Thursday’s series opener — pitched very well.
‘They both pitched really great games,” Grove said. “They kept us off-balance all night.”
Batting around in the fourth inning, Tyrone Legion broke a 1-1 tie with the four-run inning to go ahead, 5-1. Right fielder Matt Savino started the rally with a single to center field, and moved to second base when Light was hit by a pitch from Barton’s starting pitcher Bryce Helmer. Ross Gampe entered the game as a courtesy runner for Light, and both Savino and Gampe moved up a base, to second and third respectively, on a Helmer wild pitch.
Left fielder Dillon Vipond bounced a single just inside the third-base bag to score Savino and send Gampe to third. Gampe scored on second baseman Blaine Hoover’s groundout, which sent Vipond to second base. Center fielder Andrew Pearson doubled to left field, moving Vipond to third, and Vipond scored the third run of the inning on a groundout by designated hitter Colson Lewis. Pearson came home with the fourth run of the inning when Lehner, who started the game at shortstop, ripped a single to left field.
“We put them together,” Soellner said of the hits in the big inning. “Their pitcher (Helmer) is pretty good, and it was definitely good to get to him.”
Grove had admiration for Tyrone Legion’s batting potency.
“Tyrone is just a beast when it comes to hitting,” Grove said. “While we typically can stick with other teams, it was difficult to overcome their bats. They put on a hitting clinic, in my opinion.”
Even so, Barton’s had a chance to pull out the game in the bottom of the seventh. After Mitch Barton’s leadoff double to left-center, Lehner came on to pitch and struck out right fielder Luke Grove. Shortstop Ben Dombrosky singled to left-center, scoring Barton, and Dombrosky went to second on the throw in from the outfield.
With Barton’s trailing only 5-3, left fielder Adam Zimmerman chopped an infield single, putting the tying runs on base, but Lehner got first baseman Maxx Swineford to ground into a forceout and catcher Sam Mierley to fly out to end the game.
Tyrone improved to 17-5, while Barton’s — which got three singles from Dombrosky — finished the seeason at 15-10.
“Barton’s is a fundamentally-sound team,” Soellner said. “This is a good win for us.”
TYRONE LEGION (5): Pearson cf 422, Stoner 3b 000, Lewis dh 300, Lehner ss-p 201, Lehman c 402, Hunter cr-lf 000, Coleman cr 000, Lucas 1b-rf 400, Savino rf-ss 311, Light p-1b 300, Gampe cr 010, Vipond lf 312, Hoover 2b 301. Totals –29-5-9.
BARTON’S PLUMBING & HEATING (3): Dombrosky ss 413, Zimmerman lf 302, Swineford 1b 401, Mierley c 300, Larson EH 200, Simpson 2b 302, Helmer p 000, Kratzer cr-p 200, Hibbs 3b 311, Barton cf 312, Grove rf 300. Totals — 30-3-11.
SCORE BY INNINGS
Tyrone Legion 001 400 0–5 9 2
Barton’s Plumbing 100 010 1–3 11 1
E–Lehman, Savino, Dombrosky. 2B–Pearson, Lehman, Barton. SB–Hoover. SAC–Zimmerman. SF–Mierley. HBP–Helmer by Light; Light by Helmer. LOB–Tyrone Legion 8, Barton’s Plumbing & Heating 10.
TYRONE LEGION: Light (W) 6+IP, 9H, 3R, 3ER, 1BB, 1SO; Lehner (SV) 1IP, 2H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 1SO.
BARTON’S PLUMBING & HEATING: Helmer (L) 3ªIP, 7H, 5R, 5ER, 3BB, 0S0; Kratzer 3•IP, 2H, 0R, 0ER, 1BB, 0S0.
Records: Tyrone Legion (17-5); Barton’s Plumbing & Heating (15-10).
Umpires: Vic Huber (plate); Jonathan Smith (bases).
Time of game: 1:51.
Martin Oil forces third game
John Kost drove in three runs and Mark Stewart fanned nine to help Martin Oil force a third game with Park Home, 12-5, in the Kelley Federation best-of-three semifinals Friday night at Vets Field.
Martin Oil led, 6-1, after four innings, and scored five more in the bottom of the sixth to seal it. Owen Kravetz scored three of the five runs for Park Home.
PARK HOME (5): Kravetz p 432, Yon 3b 211, Turiano ss 311, Baney 1b 402, Carothers c-2b 400, Friedenberger lf-p 401, Folcarelli 2b 200, Savoy rf 100, Kuhns rf-p-lf 300, Hood cf 300. Totals — 30-5-7.
MARTIN OIL (12): Kost cf 312, Schmoke ss-p 321, Dorminy lf 502, Guyer c 402, Bollinger cr 010, Stewart p-2b 200, Kovac cr 010, Young 2b-ss 321, Walker 1b 211, Johnston 3b 221, Shaulis rf 220. Totals — 26-12-10.
SCORE BY INNINGS
Park Home 100 030 1–5 7 3
Martin Oil 130 215 X–12 10 2
E–Turiano, Baney, Friedenberger, Walker, Johnston. 2B–Turiano, Walekr. RBI–Turiano 3, Baney 2, Kost 3, Guyer 2, Schmoke, Walker. WP–Stewart. LP–Kravetz. SO–Kravetz 1, Kuhns 1, Stewart 9, Schmoke 1. BB–Kravetz 4, Kuhns 6, Stewart 1, Schmoke 1.
Series: Tied 1-1