Power-8: Cavaliers keep streaking with wins over North
By JACKSON WILSON
Enquirer Democrat Reporter
Carlinville is still without a scratch when it comes to Macoupin County baseball matchups.
On Apr. 2, the Cavies hosted the North Mac Panthers. Such a matchup had already been a classic rivalry, but this particular contest had an added sense of meaning and purpose to it. The Virden-Girard program had been caught up in a massive rebuild over the past couple of seasons, losing 67 of 86 games before improving tremendously with a 12-13 record in 2018. Coming into Tuesday’s match, a seven-game winning streak was on the line for both squads.
The Carlinville bats came out of the gates colder than usual, which allowed North Mac to build an early 4-2 lead through three frames. Thus, a lot of pressure was put on the Cavies’ bullpen relievers to keep the game respectable heading down the stretch. It delivered in a big way, holding the visiting Panthers to just one run in the closing innings. Thus, the door was left unlatched and Carlinville busted through it with a three-run rally in the sixth. Junior Christian Griffith earned the pitching victory in a hard-fought 6-5 win for the cardiac Cavaliers. Jake Ambuel drove in two runs on two hits. Colton DeLong also played a major role in the comeback with two hits of his own. This was North Mac’s first loss of the year.
The next day, Carlinville was in control from the beginning. A date with Bunker Hill ended up being another familiar slugfest for the Cavies, who tallied seven runs in two different innings en route to a dominant 14-3 win on the road. Tucker Hughes tossed 81 pitches and went the distance on the hill while striking out six Minutemen along the way. Aiden Naugle was the offensive star of the game with three hits and five RBIs. Bunker Hill dropped to 3-4 in defeat.
The Cavies had another key Macoupin County showdown circled on their calander for last Friday, but April showers came through Gillespie and postponed the highly-anticipated game against the Miners, which will be made up on Mon., Apr. 15.
Carlinville has now won eight in a row (8-1 overall).
Christian Griffith makes a leaping catch during Carlinville’s 14-3 win in Bunker Hill on Apr. 3. Griffith earned a pitching win in bullpen relief against North Mac the day before. Photo contributed by Amy Rosentreter.