By Lenny Sementi
Cold weather and Mother Nature took care of Friday evening but Tuscola’s baseball team still got in a pair on Saturday at the annual Warrior Round Robin. Coach Adam Carver’s crew split on the day opening with a 19-9 win over Eastland Lanark-Pearl City in a high scoring affair before dropping the night cap to the states third ranked Bulldogs of Effingham St. Anthony 18-5.
Tuscola put crooked numbers on the board in three of the six frames played against Eastland scoring four in the first, and seven in both the fourth and sixth and survived a few big innings late by their visitors from the north to secure the victory. In a rare change Tuscola was guests at the friendly confines and took full advantage of change, running out to a three run lead in the top of the first.
Payton Armstrong and Easton Cunningham kick started the offense with back-to-back doubles in the one and two hole. Colton Musgrave drove one across with a single to center, stole second, moved on single by Pierce and scored on a pass ball. Pierce then found his way home on a sac fly by Jaden Gaines. Musgrave doubled in the third and scored on a double by Chase Jones before the Warriors lost in the later frames.
Pierce led all with a four for five, two RBI effort at the plate with Armstrong right on his heels going three for five on the day with three runs scored. Cunningham and Musgrave each banged out a pair of hits, as did Nate Thomason. Jones reached all five times he stepped to the dish delivering a two for two effort with the lumber in his hands. Dylan Shinn took home the win, working five and two-thirds, giving up nine hits and four walks while fanning four.
St Anthony ran past Eastland in the second game of the day and then carried that momentum into the game versus the Warriors. The Bulldogs broke through with five in the second and two in the top of the third making it 7-0. Musgrave answered in the bottom of the third with a three run dinger driving in Armstrong and Cunningham who reached on back-to-back knocks. Armstrong singled again in the fourth pushing Parker James across and scored on an RBI double by Musgrave but the Warriors were unable to keep pace from that point on.
Musgrave was tops in the scorebook with a three for four, four-RBI outing including a double and a homerun. Armstrong was next going two for three on the day while Cunningham and Thomason each singled. Cunningham took the loss allowing seven runs on four hits and seven walks in three innings of work. Armstrong, Isaac Halverson and Nate Thomason took the hill in the final three frames.