Tyrone defeats tough competition to capture title
Curve Classic championship
In Kevin Soellner’s five previous seasons as Tyrone Area High School’s head baseball coach, the Golden Eagles had never taken part in the annual Altoona Curve Classic at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
This spring, Soellner’s Eagles finally made an appearance, and the sixth-year coach watched his team make the most of it.
Tyrone captured the tournament championship Saturday afternoon with a 10-0, five-inning mercy-rule victory over Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic in the title game.
The championship victory capped off an impressive day for Tyrone (4-1), which had advanced to the title game by defeating Altoona, 7-1 in a semifinal-round game earlier Saturday.
“This was our first time here in my coaching tenure, and we were looking forward to participating,” Soellner said. “It’s obviously a big win for us, because there are a lot of good, quality teams in this tournament.”
Tyrone mounted an 11-hit attack, capitalized on three BG errors, and rode the stellar pitching of sophomore right-hander Zack LeGars, who tossed a one-hit shutout.
“The first couple of games this season, we were slow on our hitting,” Soellner said. “But today, we didn’t let up. Sometimes you let up when you get a lead, but today, we got on it and we were ready to go.”
Tyrone jumped out to a 7-0 lead after three innings in the title game, scoring three runs in both the first and second innings and tacking on another run in the third inning.
Senior shortstop Rodney Shultz was the hitting star in the championship game for Tyrone, driving in two runs with a first-inning single, another run in the second with a double, and adding an infield single in the fourth inning. He also capped off his perfect 3-for-3 day at the plate by drawing a walk in the fifth inning.
Tyrone’s three runs in the first inning were all unearned against BG starting senior right-hander Austin Lewis. Blaine Hoover reached on an error to lead off the game, Bryce Hunter walked, and Brandon Lucas reached on another BG error to load the bases.
Shultz then fisted a bloop single to shallow right field, scoring Hoover and Hunter, and moving Lucas to third. Tyrone then tried a double steal, with Lucas swiping home to give the Golden Eagles a 3-0 lead as Shultz was being thrown out at second.
“It’s a great opportunity to be out here playing on this beautiful field,” Shultz said while gathering on the field with his teammates for a postgame celebration. “It was good to string some hits together and make some plays.”
BG replaced Lewis on the mound with sophomore righty Owen Dombrosky in the second inning, when Tyrone expanded its lead to 6-0 with three more runs. A two-run double by Lucas, followed by an RBI double by Shultz, were the run-producing hits.
In the third inning, Tyrone added another run against Dombrosky when catcher Michael Buck doubled — one of five Tyrone doubles in the game — and was pinch-run for by Cortlynd Rhoades, who eventually scored on a BG throwing error following Aiden Coleman’s infield single.
On a day when LeGars pitched with surgical precision, the seven-run cushion was more than enough.
LeGars tossed five shutout innings, allowing only BG catcher Deven Wyandt’s bloop single just out past first base in the third inning. LeGars did not walk a single batter, and struck out two.
“My teammates have my back out there, and I stayed focused as much as I possibly could,” LeGars said. “Winning this tournament is a great feeling, but our next goal now is to win the district championship and move on to states. We know that we have to work hard in order to do that.”
Tyrone scored twice in the fourth inning against a third BG pitcher, junior Devyn DeGennaro, when Lucas and Shultz reached on infield singles and eventually both scored on infield groundouts.
Tyrone cemented the win in the fifth inning with a run against BG’s fourth pitcher, sophomore righty Nick Negola, with first baseman Ross Gampe’s RBI double providing the clincher.
BG (4-1) had advanced to the title game with a 16-0, three-inning mercy-rule victory over Hollidaysburg in the semifinal round Saturday, but the championship game was all Tyrone.
“I don’t know what to say,” BG coach Tommy Williams said. “(Tyrone is) a good team. You can’t spot them any runs, and think that you’re going to come back. We didn’t hit, and we made some errors in the field.”
Soellner was pleased with his team’s effort, but he knows that there is still much work to be done.
“It’s definitely a good kickoff to the season,” Soellner said. “But we can’t have a letdown now.”
Game notes: Tyrone senior Brendan Grazier, who had six RBIs and scored a run in the Eagles’ semifinal win over Altoona, was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player … Gampe made a highlight reel catch from his first base position in the fourth inning, reaching over the railing while going full-tilt to grab Michael Boston’s foul popup … BG visits Bishop McCort today, while Tyrone travels to Bald Eagle Area.
BISHOP GUILFOYLE (0): Rother ss 200, Boston 1b 200, Lewis p-cf 200, Beauchamp 2b 200, Swineford 3b 100, Hamel ph 100, McNelly lf 100, Himes ph 100, Dombrosky cf-p 100, Querry ph 100, Wyandt c 101, Harbaugh rf 100, DeGennaro p 000, Negola p 000. Totals – 16-0-1.
TYRONE (10): Hoover lf 410, Hunter cf 310, Lucas 3b 342, Shultz ss 313, Gampe 1b 301, Rhoades ph 100, Lang 2b 000, Grazier dh 301, Buck c 211, Light cr 000, Brooks ph-rf 100, Coleman rf 212, LeGars p 201, Vipond cr 010. Totals – 27-10-11.
SCORE BY INNINGS
Bishop Guilfoyle 000 00X X-0-1-3
Tyrone 331 21X X-10-11-1
E–Beauchamp 2, Boston, Lucas. 2B–Lucas, Shultz, Gampe, Grazier, Buck. RBI–Shultz 3, Lucas 2, Rhoades, Gampe, Brooks. LOB–Tyrone 8, Bishop Guilfoyle 0. SB–Lucas 2, Hoover, Coleman. CS–Shultz (Wyandt to Rother). HBP–Lucas by Negola.
Bishop Guilfoyle: Lewis (L) 1 IP, 2H, 3R, 0ER, 1BB, 1SO; Dombrosky 2IP, 6H, 4R, 4ER, 1BB, 1SO; DeGennaro 1 IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 1BB, 1SO; Negola 2/3IP, 1H, 1R, 1ER, 1BB, 1SO.
Tyrone: LeGars (W), 5IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 2SO.
WP–Lewis, DeGennaro 2.
Umpires: Joe Bidoli, Jr. (plate); Sam Patton (1b); Dave Adams (3b).
BG cruises in semi
Winning pitcher Austin Lewis had three hits and struck out four batters for Bishop Guilfoyle in a 15-0, three-inning victory over Hollidaysburg in the semifinals of the Altoona Curve Classic on Saturday.
Dylan McNelly added two hits and four RBIs for the Marauders, and Mitchell Swineford and Cooper Rother each had two hits and drove in two runs.
Bryce Martellacci and Zach Miller had the Golden Tigers’ only hits.
HOLLIDAYSBURG (0): Barton lf 200, Martellacci cf 101, Gampe 1b 100, Estep c 100, Miller 2b 101, Perry dh 100,Wedel p 000, Peterson p 000, Emerick p 000 Faber rf 100, Jandora 3b 100, Bukosky ss 100. Totals–10-0-2.
BISHOP GUILFOYLE (15): Rother ss 322, Boston 1b 131, Lewis p 333, Beauchamp 2b 321, Swineford 3b 222, McNelly lf 212, Dombrosky cf 210, Wyandt c 210, Harbaugh rf 211. Totals–20-15-12.
SCORE BY INNINGS
Hollidaysburg 000 XXX X– 0 2 2
Bishop Guilfoyle 474 XXX X–15 12 0
E–Estep, Jandora. 2B–Lewis, Rother. RBI–Rother 2, Boston, Lewis, Beauchamp, Swineford 2, McNelly 4, Dombrosky, Wyandt, Harbaugh. WP–Lewis. LP–Wedel. SO–Lewis 4. BB–Wedel 3, Peterson 1, Emerick 2.
Records: Hollidaysburg (2-1).
Tyrone beats Altoona
Ross Gampe went the distance on the mound, allowing just a first-inning run and four hits, to help Tyrone defeat Altoona, 7-1, in the Altoona Curve Classic semifinals.
Brendan Grazier had two of Tyrone’s three hits and drove in six runs.
Aidan Steinbugl had a hit and scored the Mountain Lions’ lone run.
TYRONE (7): Hoover lf 310, Lucas 3b 410, Shultz ss 321, Gampe p 210, Grazier 1b 412, Lehner dh 200, Lang 2b 300, Hunter cf 200, Coleman rf 100. Totals–24-7-3.
ALTOONA (1): Green cf 300, Steinbugl ss 311, Day rf 200, Manley 1b 301, Muffie 2b 301, Wilson dh 301, Rhodes p-lf 300, Moyer 3b 200, Carothers c 200, Alwine p 000, Weyandt p 000. Totals–24-1-4.
SCORE BY INNINGS
Tyrone 000 430 0–7 3 1
Altoona 100 000 0–1 4 1
E–Lang, Steinbugl. WP–Gampe. LP–Rhodes. SO–Gampe 4, Rhodes 7, Alwine 1. BB–Gampe 2, Rhodes 2, Alwine 1, Weyandt 3.
Records: Tyrone (3-1); Altoona (2-1).