By Tim Taylor
Behind a whopping 12 hits, the Mattoon Middle School Wildcats handily defeated the CMS Trojans on Thursday. Powered by timely hitting and aided by fielding errors by the Trojans, the Wildcats took the lead in the second, piled on more runs in the third and fourth and cruised to a 10-3 victory.
The trio of Lincoln Hayes, Mat Miller, and Isaiah Warrington combined to limit CMS batters to three runs, one of which was earned, and struck out 9 in total. MMS had 3 errors in the game.
Pitchers Quinn Taylor, Jace Boyce, and Soren Flygare gave up eight unearned because of six errors. They did not walk an MMS batter.
The game began with in a positive manner for CMS in the top of the first. While Mattoon’s Derek Sharp reached a hit to shallow left, starter Taylor got Wagner to ground into a fielder’s choice, struck out Hayes, and induced a fly out from Miller.
In the bottom of the first, Chase King walked and stole second with one out, and Alex Matheny singled up the middle to score King for what became a tenuous one-run lead.
The top of the second revealed CMS’s shaky defense on the day. Logan Thompson began the inning by reaching on an error at third base, and Prince got on base with a short single to center field. Braylon Uppencamp hit a sharp grounder and reached on another error, which scored Thompson.
Preston Walk came up next and singled on a slow roller past the shortstop to load the bases. Anthony Spracklen followed with a blooper to left field, and Artem Lindley threw to third to get an out. The Trojans finally got out of inning through a fielder’s choice and liner to second.
The Wildcats tacked on two more in the top of the third with two outs. Thompson singled and stole second. Prince reached on a sharp ground ball past third. Next, Uppencamp hit a grounder and reached on an error at shortstop, which scored both runners.
Then in the top of the fifth, MMS had a monster inning – scoring 5 runs. After the lead off batter struck out, Sharp reached on an error by the pitcher Boyce. Wagoner singled to left center to move Sharp to third. Hayes followed with a fly ball and reached on an error in center, scoring Sharp and advancing Hayes to second.
With Wagoner now on third, he scored on a passed ball, which moved Hayes to third. Miller was hit by a pitch, and Thompson singled on a hard grounder up the middle, scoring Hayes. With two outs after Prince popped out to shortstop, Uppencamp singled to left field, which yielded two more runs.
In the fifth, MMS tacked on one more run after Sharp singled. Wagoner singled to right field, advanced to second on a fielding error in right field, which in turn scored Sharp.
CMS mounted some offensive threats in the bottom of fifth and sixth innings, but they only scored one run each in those innings.
Notable performances in the game from both teams:
- Logan Thompson went 2 for 4, scored 3 runs, stole 3 bases, and earned an RBI
- Derek Sharp went 2 for 5, scored 2 runs, and stole 3 bases
- Andrew Wagoner went 2 for 5, stole 2 bases, scored 1 run, and drove in a run
- Braylon Uppencamp had a two-run single with two outs
- Chase King went 2 for 3, scored 2 runs and stole 4 bases
- Alex Matheny went 2 for 4 and drove in 2 runs
- Soren Flygare went 2 for 4 and scored 1 run
Charleston will host the 3A Regional 11 tournament. The here are the seeded team: 1. Tolono Unity, 2. Charleston, 3. Mattoon, 4. Effingham, 5. Monticello, 6. Robinson Nuttall.
Charleston will play the winner of Game 2 (Nuttall vs. Mattoon) on Saturday, September 18 at Noon.