By Lenny Sementi
Tuscola’s baseball team ended an up and down week with not only a split in a Friday double header at Macon Meridian but also a split for the week. Head coach Adam Carver’s crew opened the four game swing with their first CIC loss of the season dropping a tough one at home to league leading Warrensburg-Lathem 6-3 on Monday. They rebounded two nights later at St. Teresa on Wednesday behind a two hit gem from Cole Cunningham dropping the Bulldogs 3-1. Then continued their winning ways on Friday winning the front end of a road double header at Meridian 9-1 before falling in a thriller 4-2 in the nightcap.
The Warriors left a pair in the top of the second before the Cardinals scored the first run of the week in the bottom to take a 1-0 lead. Tuscola responded with a pair in the third on a two RBI double by Ben Tiezzi pushing across Cunningham and Colton Musgrave who battled their way on with a hit by pitch and a walk. They added another in the fourth on a bunt single by Dalton Addis. Easton Cunningham and Payton Armstrong set the table in the stanza but once more the Warriors left the bags juiced.
Warrensburg answered with a three-run homerun in the fifth to take the lead and pushed one more across, moving in front 6-3. Tuscola threatened one more time in the sixth when C. Cunningham reached for the fourth time in the game and Addis collected a free pass but both were stranded and WL shut the door on the CIC skirmish in the seventh.
Nate Koester took the loss for Tuscola giving up six runs on nine hits in six innings of work while striking out five. Tiezzi delivered the pill in the seventh giving up no runs on two hits. The lefty and Patrick Pierce were at the top of the hit chart of Carver each delivering a pair of hits.
Cunningham gave up a single to the first Bulldog he faced in the bottom of the first but was on point the rest of the way firing a two hit beauty. The senior struck out while walking three in the complete seven-inning CIC shut out. St T. rode a no hitter into the fourth before the Warriors took advantage of a few miscues, a walk and two hits scoring three runs in the frame to bust it open. Armstrong, Koester and Haven Hatfield all had base knocks in the game while Pierce pushed two across the plate and Easton Cunningham one.
Tuscola trailed 1-0 after two in the opener but back to back free passes to the Cunningham brothers and a sac bunt by Koester turned into a pair of runs on a two-RBI single by Tiezzi who found his way home on an error making 3-1 Warriors. They added one more in the fourth on a double by Addis and a sac fly by the elder Cunningham before breaking it wide open in the fifth on an RBI single by Musgrave and a two-RBI dinger by Hatfield. Musgrave went yard in the next frame, plating two more as the Warriors pulled away for the CIC victory.
Musgrave led all with a three for four night at the plate that included a pair of homeruns, three RBI’s and two runs scored. Tiezzi was next with a pair of hits and also collected the win on the bump scattering three hits and a walk out over seven innings of action giving up one run while striking out six. Pierce tossed a great game himself in the nightcap allowing four hits, just two earned runs, giving up just four hits and two walks. He struck out seven but didn’t get the run support as Warrior bats were unable to put together timely hits despite out hitting the Hawks.
Meridian scored one in the first and two in the second going up 3-0 on a pair of hits and an error. The black and gold closed the deficit to one in the next half inning on back to back two out singles by Koester and Tiezzi and a two-RBI double by Musgrave making 3-2 Hawks. Grant Hardwick singled in the fourth and C. Cummingham and Koester singled in the seventh to apply some pressure but the trio never crossed the dish. Tuscola banged out seven hits with Tiezzi and Koester each adding two to their season stat sheet. Addis, Hardwick and Musgrave all reached once on base knocks.