By Kayleigh Rahn
Mother Nature finally gave way for–mostly–clear skies to allow the Tuscola Warriors a chance to consistently play ball.
And the boys in Black and Gold took full advantage chalking up six wins in as many days.
A 5-0 shutout win against Villa Grove-Heritage was followed up by a 13-0 shutout win over St. Teresa. The boys topped Central A&M 11-1 and Warrensburg-Lathem 21-3 before a finishing the week hosting, and beating, Lanark Eastland and Bismark Henning 6-2 and 6-0, respectively.
On April 9 the Warriors headed to Villa Grove Heritage where they wasted no time tallying runs, while pitchers Andrew Erickson and Brayden VonLanken combined to strike out 12 in the shutout win.
Erickson hadn’t seen the mound for the Warriors since Week 1 of the season, Hoel explained, but he did his job by keeping command of the ball and working ahead in the count.
“We could have let him finish the game but decided we may need him to throw some later in the week,” Hoel said. “Going forward, we are probably going to be using Andrew more on the mound. We wanted to start out the season getting Cale (Sementi) and Logan (Tabeling) more innings, which meant Andrew’s innings were going to be limited. We feel our best team has Andrew behind the plate, so if Cale and Logan can eat up innings that Andrew threw in the past our team is improved.”
VonLanken, though he hasn’t seen many batters to date, was called upon in the sixth inning, because the coaches feel he may be able to close games in the future.
“We have an abundance of corner infielders, so we can take Brayden out of the game for an inning defensively to allow him the chance to get loose and re-enter him on the mound to close out the game and still have enough corner infielders to feel confident in our defense.”
Hoel admitted the team didn’t have a strong approach in the batter’s box overall on the chilly afternoon, but Cameron Ochs had a big day offensively, going 3-3 with an RBI and two runs scored.
The full story can be found in the Wednesday, April 18 edition of The Tuscola Journal.