The Chillicothe Cardinals senior-level American Legion baseball team for 2012 commenced its season last night with a
4-1 home victory over the Millhouse Stars from Kansas City at “June”?Shaffer Memorial?Park’s stadium.
That capped a doubleheader sweep by?Chillicothe’s Legion teams as the new junior-level (ages 17-and-younger) Cardinals outgunned Millhouse 12-10.
Beginning a schedule of approximately 40-45 games over the next two months, the senior Cardinals – coached for a second-straight year by Mike Hibner with assistance from Billy?Ralls – scored all four of their run in the bottom of the fifth inning of the 7-inning contest. Millhouse was blanked through six innings by Cardinals starting pitcher Austin Norris and reliever Justin?VanHoutan, each of whom through three innings, before nicking second reliever Trenton Troyer of Jamesport for a tally in the last frame.
Sponsored by Chillicothe’s Vern R.?Glick Post No. 25, the Cardinals did all of their scoring without aid of a hit as the Millhouse pitcher, who went the distance and tossed a 4-hitter, suffered a momentary control meltdown in the fifth.
After hitting the first batter of the inning, Chillicothean?Steven?Cooper, but getting the next man on a popup, the first of five walks in the inning was given to Cole Upton of Ludlow.
A line out to the second baseman provided a second out, but eight consecutive pitches out of the strike zone to Chillicothean Zac Douglas and then No. 3 hitter Troyer were followed by a full-count free pass to Chillicothean J. VanHoutan, and a 4-pitch pass to Trace Phillips of Braymer. With several of the errant pitches getting away from the Millhouse catcher during that stretch and allowing three runners to dash home, the Cardinals took a 3-0 lead. With the bases jammed and still two outs, a 2-1 pitch hit Troy Toedebusch of Chillicothe, forcing home Troyer with the fourth Cardinals marker.