Effingham Daily News
Inches separated Cumberland from a winning result in multiple late-inning sequences, but four runs in the last three innings lifted Casey-Westfield to a 4-3 win.
Holden Elwood's two-run home run gave the Pirates a 3-1 lead in the fifth inning, but they needed to bring home Blayke Cutts, who doubled after Elwood's blast.
Casey-Westfield started a rally with its first batter in the sixth inning. Nicco Stepina laid down a bunt single and stole second base, before Austin Glidewell hit an RBI double to the left field fence.
A one-out double off Payton Chism's bat scored the Warriors second run of the inning, tying the game 3-3, against Pirates reliever Andrew Talley.
Cumberland head coach Troy Elwood said Talley responded well after giving up two runs, including three hits to his first four batters. Talley retired the Warriors' next two batters.
“We struggled a bit starting out, but Andrew Talley did find his way there,” Elwood said. “His focus on keeping the ball down really helped him. He started getting good strikes down in the zone.”
The Pirates failed to take advantage of a leadoff single in the bottom half of the sixth and came up short on a pair of fielding plays in the next inning.
Evan Blankenship reached first on a fielding error after Cutts and Elwood collided, running toward a slow rolling ground ball.
Stepina stepped up the plate for the second consecutive inning and hit a liner to the outfield. Center fielder Sam Bauguss attempted a sliding catch, but trapped it in his glove.
The base hit turned out to be the game-winning RBI for Stepina, who stole his second base of the day moments later.
“(Stepina) is really fast,” Elwood said. “That was one of those take away what we can from that plays. We didn't want to let the rest of them hurt us.”
The Warriors continued Stepina's two out rally, as Glidewell walked before Beau Biggs grounded into a fielder's choice to end the inning.
Cumberland's 2-3-4 hitters started the seventh inning, including Talley and Elwood, who accounted for four hits in the game.
Talley grounded out to third base, but Elwood got robbed on a line drive at the pitcher. The ball went right into the chest and glove of Chism on the mound.
“They made a heck of a play on the pitcher's mound,” Elwood said. “We fell a little bit short.”
Cutts popped out to end the game, giving Chism a complete-game victory. Chism gave up seven hits and struck out four Pirates.
Talley took the loss after Bauguss started the game on the mound. Bauguss pitched five innings, giving up one run on four hits. He finished with one strikeout. As Bauguss reached 60 pitches, Elwood said he took him out of the game because it was his first start.
Elwood and Talley led the Pirates at the plate. Elwood went 2-for-4 with a home run and 2 RBIs, while Talley singled and scored twice.
Cumberland returns to action at 4:30 p.m. Monday against Tri-County in Kansas.
Alex McNamee can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 123, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Casey-Westfield 000 012 1 4 8 2
Cumberland 100 020 0 3 7 2
WP - Chism (7 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 4 K, 2 BB) LP - Talley (2 IP, 4 H, 3 R 1 BB, 1 K)
Casey-Westfield: Stepina (3-4, RBI, 2 SB, R), Glidewell (2B, RBI, BB, R), Biggs (2-4), Chism (2B, RBI), Dallape (1B, R), Blankenship (RBI, R, SB)
Cumberland: Clark (1B), Talley (2-4, 2 R), Elwood (2-4, HR, 2 RBI), Cutts (2B), Swingler (1B, 2 HBP)