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Tyrone clips Forest Hills in Dist. 6-3A baseball semi

May 26—SIDMAN — The Forest Hills Rangers had one of the most powerful offenses in the region this season on the high school baseball diamond. The postseason can be a little more unpredictable, and Thursday's District 6-AAA semifinal showed just that.

The fourth-seeded Tyrone Golden Eagles stunned Forest Hills by a score of 3-2. The vaunted Rangers' offense never quite got going, as their dream season ended with a 19-2 record.

"The old adage. Good pitching beats good hitting came through today," Forest Hills coach Joe Carpenter lamented after his team lost for the second time all year.

Tyrone's senior pitching tandem of Caiden Bonsell and Ross Gampe combined to shut down a Rangers offense that came into Thursday matchup with seven starters batting over .400 for the year.

The Rangers were limited to five hits, and generated one earned run off of the pair of right-handers from Tyrone.

"We knew we definitely could do it with our pitching and stuff, but just seeing it come to fruition it gets it out of you," Tyrone coach Kevin Soellner said after upsetting the top-seed in the bracket.

It marks the second straight year Tyrone has ended Forest Hills' year in the postseason. The Golden Eagles will now be going for their first District 6 title since 1992, as they get set to take on Philipsburg-Osceola in the championship game on Monday at Sargent's Stadium at the Point.

There was not a ton of offense in this game, but it did shine through a little in the early innings. Tyrone jumped on Forest Hills starter Jeremy Burda from the first batter of the game. Zac Legars led off the game with a single, and he came home on a Ashton Walk double. Walk was plated after a Gampe base hit. Just like that, Tyrone built a 2-0 cushion before the Rangers could record an out.

"They didn't necessarily do what we preach," Soellner said of his team's fast start. "We preach seeing some extra pitches early, but they jumped on him. They were seeing it pretty good."

Burda entered the game with a perfect 7-0 record and only had allowed six earned runs all season, but there was a crack in the first inning and Tyrone took advantage of it.

"He didn't have his normal velocity that he's had all year and they did jump on him and they jumped on him early and that probably was the game, those three runs early," Carpenter said of Tyrone's quick start.

The Rangers pushed across a run in the bottom of the first after Chase Williamson stung a one-out single, and eventually came home on an error by the Golden Eagles.

Tyrone struck again in the top half of the third in a loud way. Legars came to plate with a hit already, but turned on a Burda first-pitch fastball and launched it over the left field wall for a solo home run to increase the Golden Eagles' lead to 3-1.

"It was the first pitch and I was looking fastball right down the middle because the last at-bat he threw me junk," Legars said of his solo blast. "I was looking for it and I was ready for it."

Forest Hills ultimately made the move to Brody Roberts on the mound, and the senior looked sharp. He retired the first 11 batters he faced and did not allow a run in four innings of work. Roberts struck out three batters, and his effort kept his team in a position to make a comeback.

"I thought Roberts came in and shut the door and gave us a chance," Carpenter said of his senior's relief performance.

The Rangers best scoring opportunity came in the bottom of the fifth. Colby Rearick roped a double to lead things off and Roberts walked. That action on the bases forced a pitching change, and Tyrone brought in the hard-throwing right-hander Gampe to limit the damage.

Chase Williamson brought home a run on a fielder's choice to greet Gampe to make it 3-2, but the inning came to a screeching halt after Devin Kreger lined out to center and Williamson was doubled off to end the Rangers' threat.

"I came in when it was first and third, and pretty much I have to picture it as a clean slate," Gampe said of limiting the scoring by the Rangers late in the game. "I can't be worried about the guy on third scoring, I just have to do my job and throw strikes and trust everyone behind me."

Forest Hills was nearly unbeatable in the regular season. The Rangers dominated the Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference with a perfect 18-0 mark, but their last regular season game was played nearly two weeks ago. The top-seeded Rangers earned a first-round bye, which led to a lengthy layoff, and perhaps some rust for the top-seeded team.

"It's devastating, it really is," Carpenter said of his team's season coming to an end. "We had such storybook year with 19 wins and only the one loss until today. You're waiting two weeks, but no excuses, their studs came through."