By Lenny Sementi
Head baseball coach Adam Carver and his staff opened their season a week before the entire squad was available due to the overlap with spring football. This past week the gridders returned to the diamond but displayed some early growing pains due to lack of practice time dropping a pair on their home field in Ervin Park. Champaign St. Thomas Moore was the first to take advantage of the early season rust upending the Warriors 13-1 on Monday, April 26. Maroa Forsythe came to town on Saturday putting a crooked number on the board in the top of the first en-route to a 13-3 road win.
St Thomas Moore put multiple runs on the board in the first four frames and never looked back, ending the game early by the run rule. The Sabers pushed five across in the first on four hits, a walk and an error and followed it up with three in the second, two in the third and three in the fourth cruising to the non-conference win. Ben Tiezzi got the start and took the loss giving up ten runs, nine earned on, 11 hits and two walks while striking out a pair in two and two-thirds. Dylan Shinn threw the final two and a third allowing three runs all earned on three hits and a walk.
Sophomore catcher Colton Musgrave reached all three times delivering two hits but was left stranded each time. Juniors Jaden Gaines and Caden Baer donated the other two Warrior base knocks. Baer singled with two gone in the second but was caught on the base paths. Gaines found his way in on the bottom of fifth, moved on a single by Musgrave and scored on a pass ball to spoil the Sabers shutout bid.
Cole Cunningham singled in the bottom of the first, moved on a walk to Musgrave and Tiezzi and scored on a walk issued to Baer. Payton Armstrong and Nate Koester both took one for the team and pushed two more across putting three runs on the board for the good guys. The only problem was Maroa posted nine runs in the top half. They added two more in the third and two in the fourth scoring 13 runs on nine hits and an error. Tuscola struggled with the bats after the Trojans starter settled in posting goose eggs over the next four frames, setting the Warriors down in order in three of the final four stanzas.
Patrick Pierce took the loss for Tuscola. Pierce was unable to get out of the first giving up nine runs on five hits and two walks, fanning one. Shinn followed, giving up two runs on two hits and three walks. He struck out four in two and a third. Cunningham worked the final two innings allowing two to cross the dish on two hits and four walks, striking out three. The Trojan’s starter went the distance giving up three runs on one hit, setting down eight on his own.