By Lenny Sementi
Tuscola’s baseball team took full advantage of a power surge this past week capitalizing on a five-homerun week with a pair of wins to open the five-day swing. Four different players for coach Adam Carver’s squad went yard and Patrick Pierce did it twice.
The senior blew open a tight ball game at Ervin Park on Monday, April 19 versus Sullivan with a three run blast in the third inning leading the way to a 7-5 Warrior victory. Easton Cunningham was strong with the bat as well, ending his night with a pair of hits while Colton Musgrave, Caden Baer, Jayden Gaines and Chase Jones all provided a base knock each. Jones pushed the first two runs across in the second on a single, scoring both Cunningham and Baer.
Baer collected the win on the mound scattering six hits and four walks over five and two-thirds, striking out five. Dylan Shinn added a save to his season stat sheet, firing the final one and third, allowing one to cross the dish on one hit.
Cunningham shined at the dish and on the hill a few nights later on Thursday. The lefty had a night securing a 13-2 home victory over Cumberland working all five frames giving up two runs on just two hits while taking care of five on his own. He was a perfect three for three with the bat in his hands, including a two run homerun.
Tuscola put runs on the board in four of the five stanzas banging out fourteen hits in all. Payton Armstrong did his fair share of the damage as well. The senior outfielder went two for three at the dish and also sent a solo shot over the left center field fence to punctuate the big non-conference victory. Musgrave went one for one, including a two-RBI triple and reached four times total in the game. Gaines and Brady Cain both added singles to the scorebook and Pierce drove in a pair.
The black and golds three game win streak came to end one night later on Friday as the league leading Shelbyville Rams rallied from a two run deficit to upend the Warriors on their home field 11-5. Both Pierce and Shinn worked from the bump in the game with Pierce being credited with the loss.
It was an offensive game from the start with the two teams scoring six runs in the first frame. Shelbyville pushed two across in the top of the first before the Warriors erased the early lead with two of their own and moved in front with two more. Musgrave drove in a pair out of the three hole with a homerun and Pierce followed it up with a solo shot one batter later putting the Warriors in front 4-2.
The Rams answered quickly with crooked numbers in the second and third and then held on for the Central Illinois Conference victory. Musgrave went two for four on the evening while Shinn, Jones, Shinn and Cain all provided a hit. Pierce led all in the RBI department donating three to the cause.