Cavaliers fall to Piasa Birds, 1-0
By Daniel Winningham
Carlinville High School’s varsity baseball team was unable to push across any runs in a 1-0 loss to Southwestern High School in an IHSA Class 2A sectional semifinal contest May 22 at Pleasant Plains.
“The boys played extremely hard during a long and grueling game,” CHS coach Logan Ridenour said. “They displayed great toughness in the presence of adversity. Unfortunately for us, we came up a bit short.”
While the Cavaliers’ offense struggled, the pitching and defense kept CHS in the game.
“We played awesome defense during the game and our pitching came through in tough spots,” Ridenour said. “Our hitting was not where we needed it to be to win the game.”
Carlinville cut down two runners at home plate attempting to break the scoreless tie and also tagged out a Piasa Bird baserunner that tried to score on a failed squeeze play.
Joeb Easterday was the starting pitcher for CHS. He went 5 1-3 innings before he was replaced by Dalton Jamieson.
Easterday struck out four and walked six before leaving. He allowed four hits, including a double, and threw 95 pitches.
Dalton, who allowed the only run of the game, struck out three and walked two batters in 2 2-3 innings. Jamieson allowed three hits and threw 38 pitches.
The Piasa Birds secured the walk-off win on a double by Hunter Waston into right field, scoring Nick Parrino from first base.
“The final play was close,” Ridenour said. “I would say he was safe by about a second or two. It was a great relay that just was a bit too late.”
Southwestern improved to 23-6 with the victory while Carlinville ends the season with a 9-18 record.
In a collective 33 plate appearances, CHS garnered a total of seven base runners — five on hits and two via walks.
Bryce DeSpain had three hits in four at-bats, including two doubles, but was stranded in scoring position.
Also adding hits for CHS were Eric Pingolt and Jake Carter.
Carlinville’s Brayton Gibbs and Ben Rogers reached base on walks.
Carlinville struck out 13 times in the nine-inning loss, its first defeat in extra innings this season.
Carlinville seniors playing their final game were Kris Emmons, Ross Albert, Marcus Herschelman and Jonathan Bettis. Offensively, Emmons, Albert and Herschelman went a combined 0-10 and struck out eight times.
Southwestern falls to Pleasant Plains
Three days later, on May 25, Southwestern fell to Pleasant Plains 4-3 in the sectional championship.
The Titans scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning without the aid of a hit. Two batters reached on walks and with two outs and runners at the corners, a balk was called on Southwestern hurler Philip Reedy.
Pleasant Plains led 3-0 through five innings. Then the Piasa Birds rallied for three runs to tie the contest with two outs in the top of the fifth inning.
Pleasant Plains limited Southwestern to just two hits through the game’s first five innings.
The Piasa Birds’ Spencer Heineman delivered a two-run single to tie the game after a bases-loaded walk scored Southwestern’s first run to make it 3-1.
Southwestern’s loss to Pleasant Plains ended a 10-game winning streak.
Titans advance to State
Pleasant Plains advanced to the Class 2A State Tournament in Peoria with a 10-2 win over St. Joseph-Ogden in a supersectional contest May 27. The Titans will face the winner of Eureka and Oregon Friday, May 31, at 5 p.m. at O’Brien Field.