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Pierce tosses a gem for Tuscola High School Warriors baseball team

By Lenny Sementi
Senior hurler Patrick Pierce had himself a day this past Friday. The big righty collected a 5-2 Central Illinois Conference victory on the road at Macon scattering four hits and just two runs over six innings of work while striking out seven. Classmate Dylan Shinn closed out the league game with a scoreless inning of relief.  

Peyton Armstrong and Jayden Gaines both ended the night with a pair of hits in the contest. Armstrong opened the game with a single to left, moved on hard hit ball by Gaines and scored on a fielder’s choice by Pierce to break the ice. Pierce swiped second with two gone and scored on a single by Caden Baer. 

Meridian answered with a pair in the bottom of the third only to watch the Warriors push one across in both the fifth and the seventh to seal the deal. Armstrong got the ball rolling again in the firth with a  leadoff single and then found his way home on a base knock by Gaines. Freshman Parker James singled in the seventh, stole second and scored on a ground ball by catcher Colton Musgrave. 

A few nights earlier coach Adam Carver’s crew dropped a tough one at Decatur St. Teresa falling 5-1 on Tuesday, April 12 in a CIC league game. The Bulldogs carried a 3-0 lead into the scoring two unearned runs before Tuscola pushed one across in the top of the sixth. Austin Cummings found his way on with a one out single to left, moved on a free pass issued to Armstrong and trotted home on a ground ball by Musgrave who reached on an error. Both Armstrong and Musgrave were left making it 5-1 Bulldogs. Tuscola threatened again in the final frame with one gone following a Chase Jones and once more the black and gold was unable to capitalize, ending the contest. 

Baer took the loss allowing five runs to cross the dish, two earned, in six innings of work giving up nine hits and two walks while striking out six. Jones, Armstrong and Cummings each added a base hit to their season stat sheet in a slow night at the plate for the Warriors. 

Sandwiched in between on Thursday was a tough 12-7 home loss to Georgetown. The Buffalo’s broke open a low scoring affair late scoring six in the top of the fifth. The Warriors found their way home first scoring on leadoff single by Armstrong in the first and an RBI single by Musgrave. Baer had a base knock as well, pushing Musgrave across giving coach Carver a 2-0 advantage heading to the second. 

Georgetown answered with a pair of their own in the third knotting it at two.  Tuscola cut into the lead in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI double by Musgrave driving in Gaines following a single and they fired back in the bottom of the seventh on a three run dinger by Pierce only to fall short in the non-conference affair. Easton Cunningham and Musgrave set the table with back-to-back base hits. 

Musgrave led the way at the dish, going three for four in the evening. Jones, Gaines and Baer all produced multiple hits as well in the loss. Cunningham had the pill at the start. The junior pitcher gave up two runs on just two hits, striking out four, in three innings of work. Jones, Armstrong and Isaac Halverson fired the other four frames. Jones had a strong outing striking out five in just two and a third.

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