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Pierce strong in Tuscola High School boys baseball season opener

By Lenny Sementi
Patrick Pierce took the hill in the opener for Tuscola’s baseball team. The senior hurler was strong working three scoreless frames against a solid Westville squad before being pulled on an early season pitch limit leaving with the lead and a 10-9 win when the dust settled. He gave up a pair of hits while sitting down five on his own, fanning the side in the second. Coach Adam Carver utilized a stable of arms to finish off the final four frames with Caden Baer collecting the save recording the final out of the game on the hill with a K. 

Tuscola got the ball rolling with a four run second on the back of a three-run blast by Payton Armstrong putting Tuscola up by four heading to the third. Dylan Shinn set the table for the big frame with a lead off double. The senior added another two-bagger to the totals in the next inning. Caden Baer followed with a walk and the pair scored on a two RBI single by Jayden Gaines. They added two more in the fourth and answered a three run Tigers top of the fifth with another pair and then held on. 

Armstrong led all with a three for four outings, including three RBI’s and a pair of extra base hits. Shin was next with two doubles on a two for three night. Colton Musgrave delivered a three-RBI triple while Baer donated a double to the cause. 

Tuscola took to the road one-day later traveling west to Maroa. The Trojans put crooked numbers on the board in two of the four frames they hit in and secured the non-conference win behind a no hit performance. Easton Cunningham took the loss allowing four runs, none earned, on three hits and four walks in two innings of work. Shinn pitched the final two frames giving up six runs on five hits and a walk. 

The Warriors bats struggled again on Saturday in a split doubleheader falling to Zeigler-Royalton 10-0 in game one and the host Rangers of Benton 15-0 in the night cap. Pierce took the loss versus ZR giving up five runs on three hits and three walks while striking four. Shinn finished the game giving up five runs of his own five hits and two walks. Baer and Shinn each had a pair of hits in the contest. Musgrave and Armstrong both added a base knock to their season stat sheet. 

A tough day in the field against Benton on a cold wet day was the difference in the loss to the Rangers. Cunningham, Baer and Chase Jones all took the mound in the five-inning affair but seven errors limited their ability throughout most of the game. The offense never warmed up with Musgrave notching the only one to reach safely with a base hit in the first on a liner to left.

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