ASTON, Pa. — Rain over the past several days forced Tower Hill and St. Elizabeth to find a new home for their baseball game on May 2, so the teams headed about 11 miles north of Tower’s Carpenter Field to the Maplezone Sports Institute in Aston, Pa.
The venue and the artificial surface did not seem to matter to Tower Hill starting pitcher Marty Coyne, who threw a four-hit complete game with 16 strikeouts as the Hillers took a 3-1 victory. The Hillers are coached by Andrew Ellis, who is the Lower School learning specialist at Ursuline Academy.
Coyne struck out two St. Elizabeth batters in each of the first two innings, but the Vikings managed to manufacture a run in the second to tie the game at 1-1. Eric O’Neill led off with a single to right, and Jihad Brown entered the game as a courtesy runner. The lefty Coyne picked off Brown, but the speedy junior got out of a rundown to steal second. He scored on a two-out single to right by Jackson Davis, sliding ahead of the tag from Hillers catcher Gavin Heck.
The score remained tied into the fifth, a testament to the pitching not only of Coyne but also of Vikings starter Luke Trout, who was very good. After allowing a first-inning run on a Coyne triple and a single by Jordan Harmon, Trout and the St. Elizabeth defense kept Tower off the board. First baseman Jimmy Garrett made a backhanded diving stab of a line drive in the third to prevent a run from scoring, and Trout struck out the side in the fifth.
The Hillers, however, took the lead for good in the fifth. Ryan Coyne led off with an infield single and moved to second on a wild pitch. His older brother drove him in with a base hit to right field. Tower then loaded the bases, but St. Elizabeth, playing with the infield in, got an out at the plate on a ground ball, and Trout ended the inning with his final strikeout, his 10th of the afternoon.
Tower added an insurance run in the sixth on a groundout.
Both Coyne brothers had two hits and scored a run, with Marty adding a run batted in. Alex Hudson reached base twice on walks. The Hillers (9-2) hit the road for their next three, beginning Thursday at 4 p.m. at Wilmington Friends.
Trout had a single, and Ryan McCormac laced a triple to right for St. Elizabeth’s other two hits. The Vikings (7-6) meet First State Military Academy on Thursday at Smyrna Clayton Little League. First pitch is at 3:30 p.m.
All photos by Mike Lang.
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