A nine run fourth inning would change the tide in the South Central Conference as Carlinville would short game Litchfield, 13-1, in Litchfield on Tuesday afternoon April 16.
After three innings of action, the Cavaliers would hold a 2-0 lead in the contest. It would be the Purple Panthers' freshman hurler Blaine Stewart who would be the difference in those innings. Stewart would allow the two runs off of four hits but would strand six Cavaliers on the base paths in the first three innings.
Litchfield's offense would miss out on a couple of key scoring opportunities in the first and third inning. The Purple Panthers would have runners on first and second in both of the innings with only one out, but would not be able to put a run on the board.
The fourth inning would change the tide in the game as Carlinville would pile on nine runs off of seven hits including a three-run home run by Aidan Naugle. The offensive outburst by Carlinville would turn a two-run ball game into a 11-run rout after three and a half innings of action.
After watching the deficit increase in the top half of the fourth inning, the Purple Panthers could have tucked their tails and ran in the opposite direction. Instead, they would score their first run of the contest and continue to put up a fight.
Litchfield's first run would come from Blaine Stewart after he reached base on a base on balls. Stewart would be moved to third base after Chase Hires singled and Caleb Jurgena collected a walk. The three Purple Panthers would have the bases loaded with only one out.
After the second out was recorded, Litchfield would score their first run when Jeremy Frazier was hit by a pitch. The play would move all the runners up a base, including Stewart, who touched home plate.
Still with a two-out threat, the Purple Panthers would look to continue to decrease Carlinville's commanding lead. Instead, a strikeout would close out Litchfield's threat, leaving three runners on the base paths as the Cavies would lead 11-1 after four innings.
In the top half of the fifth inning, the Cavaliers would make sure the ten-run rule would be in effect as they would inherit two insurance runs. The two runs in the top half of the inning would give Carlinville a 13-1 advantage as Litchfield would have a chance to extend the contest in the bottom of the fifth.
The Purple Panthers would get two batters on the base paths in their half of the fifth inning as Billy Beckham would single and Nick Braasch would collect a base on balls with no outs.
Neither runner would be able to touch home plate as the contest would end at 13-1 in favor of the Cavaliers.
The loss would drop Litchfield to 3-10 overall and 1-2 in the South Central Conference. The Cavaliers would improve to 14-1 overall and 4-0 in the South Central Conference.
The Purple Panthers' homestand continued on Wednesday when they welcomed Nokomis and on Thursday when Pana visits in a non-conference contest before Vandalia rounds out the week in Litchfield on Friday.
April 16 at Litchfield
Carlinville 101 92 13 13 0
Litchfield 000 10 1 5 3
Carlinville IP R ER H K BB
W-Hughes 5 1 1 5 9 4
Litchfield IP R ER H K BB
L-Stewart 3.2 11 6 11 1 3
Braasch 1.1 2 1 2 0 1
Multiple Hits: Litchfield - Jacob Frerichs (2-3), Billy Beckham (2-2). 2B: Litchfield - Jacob Frerichs 1.
Records: Litchfield (3-10, 1-2); Carlinville (14-1, 4-0).p