HANNIBAL — Chillicothe’s American Legion baseball senior Cardinals had a rough go of it in the?Hannibal Memorial?Day Tournament, dropping all three games they played.
On Friday, the Cardinals arrived to go against Western Illinois, but only their pitching made it to the field, and it left early as the Post 25 squad took its first loss of 2012 after winning its opener last Wednesday.
The Cardinals had only two hits in seven innings and never got a runner to second base, while committing four errors in an 7-0 loss.
The contest was up for grabs past its mid-point as Chillicothe starting pitcher Austin Norris from Trenton limited the Illinoisans to a single run through three innings and reliever Trace Phillips from Braymer worked a scoreless fourth to keep it a 1-0 game.
Norris was pulled after three innings because of having been in hot water each inning and throwing 60 pitches already while allowing four hits and walking two. Of the 16 batters he faced, only five saw a strike from him on the first pitch.
After Phillips blanked Western Illinois in his first frame, he was solved for two runs each in the fifth, sixth, and seventh, putting the game well out of the Cardinals’ reach since they were doing nothing at bat. Phillips ended up allowing five earned runs on seven hits and three bases on balls. He also threw three wild pitches.
On offense, Chillicothe managed only a 2-out single to center field from Steven Cooper in the fifth to break up the potential no-hitter, a leadoff hit to right by Derrick Leeper of Hamilton in the sixth, and three walks.
Later Friday, Chillicothe’s attack had perked up considerably, stroking nine hits and scoring four times, but its defense, despite some heroic play in the fourth inning, still had issues – three errors – and its pitchers allowed 13 hits in a 7-4, 6-inning loss to host Hannibal.
While starting pitcher Zac Douglas was firing blanks, the Cardinals drew first blood with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third inning.
Eagleville’s Brett Perkins reached on an error to open the Chillicothe third and Leeper followed with a fly ball to center that dropped in. When Perkins tried for third and made it, Leeper kept going and took second on the throw to third.