Successful southern trip kicks off 2017 baseball season

By Missy Chappell
Cold weather conditions caused Tuscola’s first three games of the season to be canceled. However, the team was able to make their annual southern trip on Friday, March 17 and came away with a 2-1 record to start their 2017 campaign.

Friday, March 17
Tuscola 9; Goreville 10

Playing defending Class 1A State Champions Goreville on their home turf Friday evening was a battle, and, despite a late rally, the Warriors were unable to come away with the win.

Junior Noah Pierce took to the mound for the first start of the season. Unfortunately for Pierce, Goreville’s bats were hot out of the gate. The Warriors gave up five runs in the bottom of the first, setting themselves up to work from behind the rest of the game.

Head Coach Duff Hoel talked about that first inning, “We gave up five runs in the first, and that is where we lost the game, not only in the runs they scored, but Noah’s pitch count got up too quickly, and we didn’t get as many innings out of him as we’d have liked.”

Goreville scored once more in the bottom of the second off freshman reliever Logan Tabeling, but would be held scoreless until the bottom of the seventh inning. According to Coach Hoel, “We brought in Logan Tabeling, and he was a pleasant surprise, shutting them down for four innings while we finally started swinging the bats.”

The Warriors finally scored runs in the top of the fourth and added two more off a two-out single by Tyler Meinhold to drive in runs three and four.

Heading into the top of the seventh, down by two runs, the Warriors got one back quickly but then found themselves still down one run with two outs. With two men on, sophomore Brayden Vonlanken came to the plate and hit a base clearing triple, giving Tuscola a two run lead.

Meinhold stepped up next and hit a ground ball to the shortstop, which was misplayed allowing him to reach and Vonlanken to score.

The lead was short lived, though, as Goreville scored four runs in the bottom of the sevnth inning to take the win. Coach Hoel had the following to say about the bottom of the 7th: “We asked Andrew Erickson to close the game after catching the first six innings, and we found out that was a bad idea. We wanted to give Cole Thomas, last year’s closer, a start on Saturday so we didn’t want to throw him in the seventh Friday night.”

The full story can be found in the March 22, 2017, edition of The Tuscola Journal.

2017 Winter Sports Awards Night

Gallery

Cheerleading Letter Winners and Team Awards: Miah Holmes (Leadership), Peyton Kresin, Caylen Moyer, Baylee Tackitt, Hannah Saril (Most Spirit), Kaylee Rexroad-Campbell, Abbie Heath, Sabrina Alcorn, Bryona Lee, Gabrielle Ainsworth, Julia Kerkhoff (Most Improved), and Renee Douglas Warriorette Dance Letter Winners … Continue reading