By Lenny Sementi
Tuscola’s baseball team broke into the win column in a big way last week with four wins to their credit. Head coach Adam Carver’s group rode strong pitching performances in all four contests and an offensive outburst in a victory over Sullivan on Thursday. They opened the week with a come from behind 5-3 victory over Clinton on Monday, May 3.
Senior Nate Koester collected the first win of the year on the bump. The righty worked six of the seven frames giving up three runs in the first before settling down and posting goose eggs in the next five stanzas allowing three hits while striking out seven. Classmate Cole Cunningham got the save setting down the Maroons in order in the top of the seventh sealing the deal on the win.
Easton Cunningham singled out of the nine hole in the third, moved on a single by Dalton Addis who in turn stole second setting the table for a two-RBI base knock by Cole Cunningham making it 3-2 Clinton heading to the fourth. Haven Hatfield pinch hit in the bottom of the sixth reaching on a walk gave way on the base paths to Rohan Patel who moved on a hard hit ground ball by Patrick Pierce who reached on an error. Payton Armstrong singled for the second time in the game driving in Patel knotting it at three’s and moving Pierce to third. From there back to back to back free passes by the Cunningham’s and Addis plated two more putting the Warriors in front for good as the elder Cunningham closed the book on the 5-3 victory with two fly balls to center and a four-pitch strikeout.
Two nights later on Wednesday in Shelbyville the black and gold leaned on the left arm of senior Ben Tiezzi in a seven-inning pitchers duel. All three runs in the contest were plated in the first frame and Tuscola had two of them. Tiezzi allowed just three to reach, giving up two hits and a walk while striking out seven. Tuscola produced four hits scoring twice behind a pair of hits by the elder Cunningham.
Addis walked to open the game, moved to third on a double by C. Cunningham and scored on a sac fly by Colton Musgrave. Caden Baer followed with a ground ball to the right side pushing Cunningham over the dish. Musgrave doubled in the fifth but was left.
Tuscola put up five in the first and six in the fifth with four runs sandwiched in between winning its third game of the week in run rule fashion downing the host Redskins 15-5. Carver got three innings of work and the win from Easton Cunningham. Big brother Cole, Hatfield and Dylan Shinn all donated on the hill as well, each working one inning of relief.
Hatfield led the way with the bat pounding out three hits in four trips to the dish scoring every time he reached. Next up was Addis who tallied a pair of singles donating a pair of RBI’s as well. All nine starters reached at least once safely as the offense produced 12 hits in the contest.
A big third inning and a pitching gem by Patrick Pierce put a bow on the four win week on Friday in Ervin Park as the Warriors dropped Central A&M 7-1. Pierce went the distance collecting the shutout victory giving up just five hits and one run while taking care of six Raiders on his own.
C. Cunningham and Musgrave both doubled in the bottom of the first and Tiezzi drove in one giving Carver a 1-0 lead heading to the second. A&M tied it up in the next half inning only to watch the Warriors blow it up with five runs in the third on hits by both Cunningham’s, Koester, Hatfield and Tiezzi making it 6-1 Warriors. An RBI single by Baer in the sixth added one more insurance run and Pierce closed the book working out of a jam in the seventh inducing two fly balls and a ground ball. Tuscola moved above .500 with the win to 4-3 overall and remain unbeaten in the CIC winning all four-league games.