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At the start of the season, Tyrone coach Kevin Soellner highlighted two concerns—lack of offense and injuries—but he thought his squad could do huge things.

Both bit the Golden Eagles Monday afternoon in the District 6 Class 3A championship game versus Philipsburg-Osceola at Sargent’s Stadium at the Point.

Caiden Bonsell, Ross Gampe, and Landon Postreich limited the Mounties to two hits, but an unearned run cost the 2021 PIAA champs a 1-0 loss.

In the bottom of the third inning, Brandon Hahn was hit by a pitch, advanced to second on a bunt single by Sam McDonald, and scored on a ball that seemed to finish the inning. With one out, Jake DeSimone hit a precise ground ball to shortstop Ashton Walk, who handled it cleanly and threw to second. Hahn scored as the throw was on line but ungloved.

Gampe remarked, “We needed one run to stay in this game.” “Our defense and pitching were great, phenomenal actually. We self-defeat. They scored on a double-play error.”

Bonsell ended the inning with a strikeout and grounder.

“Other than that play, the fielding was good,” Soellner added. “We pitched and fielded well. Not scoring a run kills. Too many third strikes. We haven’t taken a third strike much this year—maybe we weren’t ready, afraid, or both. I don’t know.”

The following two innings were Tyrone’s greatest scoring opportunities.

Walk singled and advanced on a wild pitch to start the fourth. Gampe walked, but Philipsburg-Osceola starter Denny Prestash ended the inning with a fly out, grounder, and strikeout with Walk at third and Gampe at second.

“Denny has the right demeanor for baseball, one of those sports you need to stay relaxed,” Philipsburg-Osceola coach Doug Sankey said. “He’s focused, but sometimes you wonder if he’s into the game because his demeanor never changes whether he walks or strikes out. He’s carried us pitching and batting, and he’s psychologically tough.”

Zac LeGars singled in the fifth to put runners at first and second with two outs, then Walk hit one hard in the hole between shortstop and third, but Parker Lamb made a terrific play to his right and threw to the shortest base, third, for the final out.

Prestash said he felt pressure, but he knew his squad and defense were ready. “We did. Baseball is difficult, but our squad worked well together.”

Soellner noted his squad has struggled to get crucial hits since the season started.

Soellner stated that happened many times this year. “The first inning of the year against Bald Eagle, we loaded them up and couldn’t get a run in. Unfortunately, we’ve had offensive issues this year. Our offense is weak.”

Gampe replaced Bonsell in the fifth inning and struck out the first hitter. He tossed McDonald a ball to leave the game. After being examined by a trainer, he returned to first base and Postreich took the mound.

Soellner stated Bonsell and Gampe cannot last. “Caiden is counted, and Ross hasn’t felt great all year. He’s likely done pitching too.”

Postreich’s scoreless inning kept the game close.

“He’s more than capable,” Soellner remarked. “He just needs to step up.”

For the Mounties, Gavin Emigh struck out Tyrone’s first two hitters of the inning. On June 5, the Golden Eagles will play the winner of Riverside-Neshannock’s WPIAL championship game.

Gampe remarked, “We know we are playing in one of the toughest districts in the state. “The last three years, Mount Union, us, and Central have won (states), so we definitely still have hope that we can come back and win some more games.”

Philipsburg-Osceola may have scored more runs on another field, but the Point boasts one of District 6’s deepest outfields other than left field.

Sankey remarked we struck the ball hard. Dennis would have homered. Jamey Massung would have homered. T.J. Wildman hit one deep.”

Soellner noted the Golden Eagles benefited from the increased space.

“Tyrone has had outfield since I got here,” Soellner added. “They’re everywhere.” They’re fast. That’s been our most consistent thing throughout the years, and this year has been no different.”

P-O and Tyrone represented the Mountain League in the District 6 3A final, Hollidaysburg and Bellefonte in the 5A and 4A finals, and Bald Eagle Area in the 2A final today. The Mountain League had no teams in 6A or 1A, the two District 6 championship games it missed this season.

“We played a lot of high-pressure games against a lot of really good teams,” Sankey said. I suppose that prepares. It clearly prepared them. They road-killed Westmont and Forest Hills. We played home. They traveled twice.”

TYRONE (0): LeGars cf 301, Walk ss 301, Gampe 1b-p-1b 200, Hamer c 201, N. Patterson cr 000, Coleman rf 300, B. McClure 3b 300, Lehner 2b 301, Bonsell p 000, C. McClure 1b 000, Postreich p, Oakes dh 301, J. Patterson pr 000, Miller lf 300. — 25-0-5.

PHILIPSBURG-OSCEOLA (1): Gustkey c, DeSimone cf, Lamb ss, Wildman 3b 200, Prestash p-lf 300, Massung 1b 301, Harpster pr 000, Emigh rf-p 000, Knepp dh 300, Hahn lf-rf 210, McDonald 2b 201. — 21-1-2.

Innings score

Tyrone 000000 0–5 1

Philipsburg-Osceola 001 000 X–1 2 0

E–Lehner. SB–DeSimone Oakes. HBP–Hahn (Bonsell).


Tyrone: Bonsell (L)–4IP, 1H, 4K, 2BB, 1HBP, 1R, 0ER, 56 pitches. Gampe–1/3IP, 0H, 1K, 0BB, 0R, 0ER, 5 pitches. Postreich–1 2/3IP, 1H, 0K, 2BB, 0R, 0ER, 25 pitches.

Philipsburg-Osceola: Prestash (W)–6IP, 5H, 4K, 2BB, 0R, 0ER, 96 pitches. Emigh (S)–1IP, 0H, 2K, 0BB, 0R, 0ER, 12 pitches.

Umpires: Scott Druckemiller (HP); Tim Plank (1B); Ed Parks (2B); Brett Hebert (3B).

Records: Tyrone (12-11); Philipsburg-Osceola (16-7).

By Sanjh

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