After a tentative first inning, the action picked up when Tioga got two walks to start the second. Christian Weaver got hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out. Eagles’ pitcher Caden Fortunato got a strikeout for the second out. But Pierce Hendershot hit a double to score two and leave runners on second and third. Finally, Mason Booser hit a pop fly that was snagged deep in the outfield to end Tioga’s half of the inning. Hendershot retired the first three batters in the bottom of the inning. Tioga built a 2-0 lead early in the game.
John Worthing reached first on an error to lead off the third inning. Derrick Gage singled to center, advancing Worthing to third. Brady Worthing bunted for a single, scoring John Worthing. Derrick Barto walked to load the bases with only one out. Fortunato got the next batter to hit into a double play, but more damage had been done. Tioga stretched the lead to 3-0. In the bottom half, Hendershot again sat down the first three Eagle batters he faced.
In the fourth, Fortunato and his fielders calmed the Tiger attack and held them scoreless. The Tigers could not do the same. For the Eagles, Cole Russell led off and advanced to second on an error. Russell then moved to third on a passed ball. Luke Resti sacrificed to score Russell. Tioga shut down the attack with fielding and a Hendershot strikeout. But Deposit-Hancock was finally on the board 3-1.
Tioga’s Derrick Gage led off the fifth and was caught trying to stretch a double into a triple by strong-armed right fielder Raymond Rynearson. The Tigers were still hitting the ball, but Deposit-Hancock’s fielding had found its footing and Fortunato was delivering strikes. Meanwhile, the Eagles went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the fifth keeping the score at 3-1.
The sixth inning featured strong pitching and fielding on both sides and no runs for either team.
The Eagle defense overcame an error to hold Tioga scoreless in the top of the seventh. The bottom of the seventh arrived with the Tigers still holding a two-run lead. The Eagles got the lead-off man, Rynearson, on first. The next batter flew out. Rynearson stole second and advanced to third on a passed ball. The Eagles were building a rally, but Hendershot had none of it. He struck out the next two batters with the tying run at the plate. Tioga won 3-1.
When asked to identify strengths from the game, Coach Kevin Evanek was quick to call out Hendershot. “Pierce, on the mound, gave an outstanding effort. He’s a gamer. When the game’s like this, he’s always ready to roll.” Evanek was also quick to credit his entire team for the capturing the Section title. “We only have 11 guys. They’ve all contributed this year.”
Hendershot was the winning pitcher. He pitched the complete game, gave up only three hits and struck out nine. Fortunato took the loss for the Eagles. Leading Tioga in the batter’s box were Hendershot, Booser and Gage with two hits each. Also contributing to the Tigers’ attack were Brady Worthing and Thomas Cook with a hit apiece.