By Lenny Sementi
Tuscola’s baseball team wrapped up the regular season with a big win over a good Warrensburg Lathem team and then continued their late surge busting a bracket upending second seeded Bismarck-Henning in the first game of the IHSA postseason. Cole Cunningham threw six innings scattering six runs on five hits and four walks while fanning eight versus the Blue Devils. Nate Koester closed the door in the seventh striking one and inducing two ground balls advancing to the championship game with top seeded Paris.
Tuscola pushed three across in the first, one in the third and blew it wide open with six in the fourth and two more in the fifth. They added an insurance run in each of the sixth and seventh to seal the deal on the 14-6 victory. Coach Adam Carver’s squad poured in at the plate 18 hits, including six of the extra base variety.
Colton Musgrave was a beast at the plate; the sophomore catcher had a day going five for five with the bat in his hands including an RBI double. Easton Cunningham, Ben Tiezzi, Dalton Addis, Caden Baer and Patrick Pierce all contributed a pair of hits in the contest. E. Cunningham led the way in the RBI department with three while Addis, Baer and Peyton Armstrong all added two RBI’s.
Tuscola went toe to toe with the Tigers from Paris a few nights later on Monday, June 7 putting two on the first, third and fifth but couldn’t get the timely hit. The Warriors banged out seven hits in the contest. Paris was the first to score in the bottom of the third, then added two more in the fourth and all but sealed the deal with four in the fifth. Senior hurler Ben Tiezzi took the loss working four and two thirds giving up seven runs on nine hits and four walks while striking out eight. Nate Koester took care of the final two and a third allowing three to reach on a pair of hits and a walk.
Paris’s ace had some control issues putting five on by walk but he was able to stymie Tuscola’s bats giving up just three hits. Tiezzi collected two of the three reaching in the first and third but was left. Patrick Pierce singled in the fifth and was left as well. Easton Cunningham battled his way on four times with a walk.
Tiezzi took down a very good Warrensburg squad in Central Illinois Conference play a week earlier on Monday, June 1 The senior surrendered two runs on three hits, fanning eight in five innings of action. Cole Cunningham took care of the other two. Carver’s crew scored two in the top of the second moving in front by one then poured on four in the fifth, two in the sixth and one more in the seventh to deliver the 9-7 victory while recording 12 hits on the day.
Baer went three for five at the dish, scoring once and driving in two. Tiezzi and Haven Hatfield posted two hits apiece. Hatfield and Dalton Addis each had one of the extra base varieties delivering a double and a triple respectively.