North Mac beats Nokomis
By JACKSON WILSON
Enquirer Democrat Reporter
This year’s basketball season was rather inconsistent and forgettable for Macoupin County high schools.
Baseball, based on what happened during the first week, looks to be a different story.
Carlinville, Gillespie, Staunton and Southwestern came into the 2023 campaign with expectations of making a deep run. Two solid wins out of the gate gave fans, players and coaches hope.
Carlinville and Gillespie pitchers shine
Despite playing in March, where settling into a groove is the norm, the pitching for Carlinville and Gillespie seems to be at the top of its game already.
Both the Cavaliers and the Miners put together back-to-back gems, including a no-hitter and perfect game, while the offense provided plenty of support en route to a pair of convincing non-league triumphs.
On Opening Day, the Miners’ trio of Bryan Jubelt, Kamryn Link and Colton Bultema stifled a powerful Alton Marquette lineup and held the Explorers to four runs as Gillespie ripped off a 10-4 victory. Next, it was all aboard the “Buhs Cruise” to Jerseyville. Bryce Buhs twirled a seven-inning no-hitter that included 13 strikeouts Mar. 15. The Miners, braving chilly weather conditions, broke a scoreless tie by plating two runs in the top of the fourth and kept piling on over the course of the next three frames to take out Jerseyville, 9-0.
Carlinville made its presence felt on the road. The Cavaliers heated up for 10 runs in the final two frames and pulled away from Calhoun, 13-2, in the Mar. 16 opener. Then, CHS traveled to Auburn and roasted the Trojans in similar fashion, 15-0. The game was scoreless until the fourth, in which the Cavaliers uncorked six runs and then went on to initiate a mercy rule with nine additional tallies in the fifth. Liam Tieman flawlessly tossed a perfect game for Carlinville, fanning seven Auburn batters while keeping the walk column unoccupied. Tieman additionally racked up five RBI at the dish, with Henry Kufa adding three RBI in the leadoff spot.
Staunton and Southwestern obtain two wins
Staunton and Southwestern also obtained a pair of victories on Opening Week.
Staunton stomped Bunker Hill, 12-1, in five innings at home Mar. 15, then returned to its home soil five days later and beat Lincolnwood, 5-2.
Southwestern hounded Maryville Christian, 19-0, in five, scoring at least one tally in each frame Mar. 14. The Birds pushed across five in the first, three in the second, six in the third, three in the fourth and two in the fifth. Southwestern fell into an early 3-0 first inning hole against Litchfield in its home opener Mar. 16, but countered with seven runs in the bottom of the frame and sustained advantage from then on out. The Birds knocked off the Purple Panthers in a 14-8 shootout, then lost to Marquette, 12-2 at Alton Mar. 20.
North Mac beats Nokomis
North Mac traveled to Montgomery County and seized a 10-5 victory against Nokomis Mar. 20.
The Panthers drew first blood with three runs in the top of the fourth, then added some insurance to make it 5-0 in the fifth.
The Redskins reduced the gap to 5-3 in the bottom of the fifth, but North Mac shut down the rally and put the game away with four runs in the top of the sixth.