After being rained out earlier in the week, Litchfield and Carlinville would square off on the diamond in Litchfield, with the Cavies acting as the home team on Saturday, May 22. The Cavaliers early success would help carry them to a 7-2 victory over the visiting Panthers.
Carlinville would get on top of Litchfield and the Panthers’ starting pitcher, Bryce Hires, early in the contest as they would get five runs off of five hits and two walks in the first two innings of action. The early success by Carlinville would put the home team ahead 5-0 after two innings.
Litchfield would not give up in the contest as they would put two runs on the board in the top of the third inning. Ryan Baugher would lead off the inning with a single and would be joined on the base paths when Drake Gasperson, who walked on a four pitch at-bat. During the next at-bat both Baugher and Gasperson would move one base closer to the home plate, on a wild pitch.
The move would set up the first run of the game by Litchfield as Jacob Frerichs grounded out to first base, allowing Baugher to touch home.
After the second out was recorded, Bryce Hires would help himself out as he singled to right field. The single would allow Gasperson to score, narrowing Carlinville’s lead to 5-2. Litchfield would not be able to tally any more runs in the inning, but the success would show Litchfield was not ready to bow out of the contest.
Drake Gasperson would relieve Hires on the mound and he would give the Cavaliers some fits. Gasperson would pitch three innings, striking out five batters and not allowing a run or a hit.
As Gasperson kept the Panthers in the ball game, Litchfield’s offense would struggle to get runs on the board as they put runners on base, but could not push any across home.
In the top of the fifth, Litchfield would collect singles from Drake Gasperson, Jacob Budd and Bryce Hires but all three would be left on the base paths.
Again, in the top of the sixth inning Litchfield would get runners in scoring position, but would fail to get any further runs on the board. Drew Hartzell would start the inning off with a double, but he also would be left on the base paths as three quick outs would be recorded.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Carlinville would get some insurance runs as they plated two more runs to give them a 7-2 lead heading into Litchfield’s last attempt.
In the top of the seventh inning, the Panthers would threaten the Cavaliers’ lead but again would not crack the scoreboard. With two outs in the innings Jacob Budd would keep the Panthers’ hopes alive with a double, but he would not get any further than second base as the Cavaliers closed out the contest.
The loss would drop Litchfield to 2-7 overall while Carlinville would improve to 6-4 overall.
Litchfield will take on conference foe Hillsboro on Monday, May 24, at the Hillsboro Sports Complex.
May 22 at Litchfield
Litchfield 002 000 0 2 8 1
Carlinville 230 002 x 7 7 2
Litchfield IP R ER H K BB
B. Hires 2 5 4 5 4 2
Gasperson 3 0 0 0 5 2
B. Stewart 1 2 2 2 1 1
Multiple Hits: Litchfield - Drew Hartzell 2-3, Jacob Budd 2-4, Bryce Hires 2-4, Drake Gasperson 1-2, Ryan Baugher 1-3. 2B: Litchfield - Jacob Budd 1, Drew Hartzell 1. Runs: Litchfield - Ryan Baugher 1, Drake Gasperson 1. RBI: Litchfield - Jacob Frerichs 1, Bryce Hires 1.
Record: Litchfield (2-7, 2-5); Carlinville (6-4).
Rain would prevent the Purple Panthers from any action on the diamond this week until Thursday, May 20, when Litchfield would host Gillespie for senior night. The Miners would not be friendly visitors as they would defeat the Panthers 11-2.
Gillespie got on the board first in the contest as they would open the first inning with one run. Litchfield, though, would respond in their half of the first inning with a two spot on the board.
Jacob Frerichs would get the action started when he doubled to center field, then moved over to third base when Jacob Budd grounded out to the second baseman.
After the first out of the inning was recorded, Carson Saathoff would join Frerichs on the base paths when he took a five-pitch walk. Litchfield would record their first run during the next at-bat when Frerichs would touch home plate on a wild pitch.
The Panthers would get another run in the inning when Saathoff would touch home plate on a fielding miscue by the Miners. The two first inning runs for Litchfield gave the Panthers a 2-1 lead after one inning of action.
After giving up a run in the first inning, the Panthers starting pitcher, Jacob Frerichs, would settle down in the second inning as he struck out the side.
It is hard to keep a good team off the board, though, and the 12-win Miner squad showed that in the middle innings. Gillespie would be able to put 10 more runs on the board during innings three through six. The scoring outburst by the Miners would give Gillespie an 11-2 lead after five and a half innings of action.
Even though the Panthers would not put any more runs on the board after the first inning, Litchfield would get runners in scoring positions. In the bottom of the fourth inning, Blaine Stewart singled to right field, putting Litchfield’s leadoff batter on base. Stewart would be joined on the base paths when both Chase Hires and Cam Frerichs reached base on balls. A ground out would close out the inning though, leaving all three Panthers stranded on the base paths.
Litchfield would once again threaten the Miners’ lead in the bottom of the fifth inning when two Panthers would reach the base paths. Gillespie would once again end any threats as they would close out the inning without any damage to the scoreboard.
In their last attempt at the Miner lead, Litchfield would create a scoring threat in the bottom of the seventh inning. Jacob Budd led off the inning with a single and moved to second base after the first out was recorded. Bryce Hires moved Budd over when he collected Litchfield’s fifth hit of the ball game.
Both Hires and Budd would remain on the base paths as the contest would come to an end.
The loss would drop the Panthers to 2-6 as Gillespie would improve to 13-6 overall.
May 20 at Hillsboro
Gillespie 103 322 0 11 11 2
Litchfield 200 000 0 2 5 3
Litchfield IP R ER H K BB
Frerichs 3.1 6 6 5 7 4
Budd 1 3 1 2 3 2
J. Stewart 2.2 3 2 4 3 2
Hits: Litchfield - Drake Gasperson 1-1, Jacob Frerichs 1-3, Blaine Stewart 1-3, Jacob Budd 1-4, Bryce Hires 1-4. 2B: Litchfield - Jacob Frerichs 1. Runs: Litchfield - Jacob Frerichs 1, Carson Saathoff 1.
Record: Litchfield (2-6, 2-4), Gillespie (13-6).