By Kayleigh Rahn
It didn’t end the way the Warriors’ baseball team had hoped.
However, Tuscola pitcher Logan Tabeling, backed by his defense, held one of the top offenses in the state to just five hits and two runs Friday night in Class 2A state semi-final action.
The Warriors ultimately fell 1-2 to Spring Valley (Hall) and will play for a shot at the third place title today.
Tabeling set the tone for what would become a pitcher’s duel after striking out Hall’s top two hitters in the top of the first.
In the bottom half of the first, Tuscola’s Dalton Hoel broke the ice after beating out an infield single. However, the Warriors left him stranded, and the game would stay tied at 0-0 until the bottom of the third.
Hoel headed to the plate with two out and put down his second single of the game. He was followed by a Lucas Kresin base hit to shallow right center that advanced Hoel to second. Andrew Erickson hit a shot up the middle for a single, and Hoel scored, putting the Warriors on top 1-0 heading into the fourth.
Tabeling worked his way out of a fourth-inning jam before the Warriors went down in order through the next six batters taking the ball game into the sixth.
Hall gained a bit of memento as their eight-spot hitter James Mautino reached on a rare error by the Warriors’ defense. Mautino stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch.
Coach Duff Hoel took a trip to the mound to calm his crew before Tabeling struck out two Red Devils in a row; however, Hall put one on the board as Mautino scored on an RBI double by Jimmy DeAngelo.
Knotted at 1-1, the Warriors again sat down in order in the sixth, before the Tuscola defense worked out of another jam in the top of the seventh.
Tuscola offense tried to get a bit of magic going in the bottom of the seventh, but couldn’t get the job done, pushing the game into extra innings.
In the top of the eighth, the Warriors put out Hall’s lead off man before allowing Brant Vanaman to reach on a single who then stole second and eventually put up a run for the Red Devils.
Cale Sementi came in as relief with the bases loaded but was able to shut the door with a final strike out to close the top of the eighth.
Cameron Ochs led off the eighth for Tuscola with a single to center and was followed by Hoel who gained a free pass on a hit by pitch. However, a couple fluke plays would halt the Warriors’ hopes of a shot in the championship. In a quick play, Erickson popped out to shallow right field for the second out of the inning as the lead Warrior baserunner was sent, under coach direction, on to third with no tag up at second for the third, and final, out.
In all, Tabeling put in eight innings of work and tallied 14 strikeouts; Sementi added one K.
Tuscola put up six hits to Hall’s five; however, a few mishaps on the field resulted in two Tuscola errors.
Hoel was 2 for 4 from the plate, and Erickson had the lone RBI. Lucas Kresin, Erickson, Cade Kresin, and Cameron Ochs had a hit each.
The Warriors will play Herscher today for the third place title at 3 p.m. at Peoria’s Dozer Park.
Today, Hall went on to beat Teutopolis 4-1 for the 2A state title.