Cubs Comeback as Bell City Bounces Silex

by Nathan Gerdts | Posted on Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

Easton Baseball

Austin Hicks winds and fires. The Bell City pitcher threw a complete game in the Cubs' 5-4 comeback win vs Silex

Austin Hicks winds and fires. The Bell City pitcher threw a complete game in the Cubs’ 5-4 comeback win vs Silex

Former Houston Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich once famously said, “Don’t ever underestimate the heart of a champion.” The Bell City Cubs don’t have any players who are old enough to remember that quote, but they seem to have been listening.

The Cubs came back from an early deficit to knock off the Silex Owls 5-4 in a MSHSAA Class 1 State Championship semifinal at CarShield Field in O’Fallon, MO.

Silex started Colton Groshong worked around a two-out single from Nate Finney to retire the Cubs in the top of the first inning on Memorial Day afternoon. A thunderstorm with heavy rainfall forced the game to be postponed.

Silex took advantage when play resumed in the bottom of the first the next morning. The first four Owls that came to the plate reached and scored, led by RBI hits from Joe Martin and Jacob Stolle, for the early lead.

Bell City started the uphill climb in the top of the second. Tyler Evans walked with one out and scored on a base hit by Jesse Smith.

Two more runs came across in the top of the fourth. Bobby Wright singled and Evans was hit by a pitch to begin the inning, then after Wright stole third base, Brandon Abner singled him home, and Smith singled to drive in Evans and pull the Cubs within a run.

Despite swinging and missing here, Bobby Wright had two hits as part of the Bell City offense

Despite swinging and missing here, Bobby Wright had two hits as part of the Bell City offense

Nate Finney singled into shallow right field to start the fifth as Bell City looked to tie the game. Finney moved to second on a sac bunt from Peyton Maddox, and on a 1-1 pitch, Wright crushed a fastball to deep right center that brought Finney in and evened the game at 4.

With two outs in the bottom of the fifth, Silex tried to rally to grab the lead back. Stolle ripped a double into left center, and when Wyatt Gruenloh singled and the throw home got away, Stolle took off from third. Fortunately for Bell City, Wright recovered behind the dish and threw to a covering Austin Hicks in time to nab Stolle for the third and final out.

Cole Nichols walked to lead off the sixth for the Cubs against Stolle, who was pitching in relief. After stealing second and moving to third on a fielder’s choice, Finney went the other way for a base hit that brought Nichols home for the go-ahead run.

Hicks, who got the start, stepped to the mound with a lead and held on to it, retiring the side in order in the last two innings to sew up the victory. Hicks allowed three earned runs on five hits and struck out seven in the complete-game win.

Stolle took the loss in relief for Silex, allowing a run on one hit and two walks in 2 2/3 innings. Groshong pitched 4 1/3 innings as the starter and gave up nine hits and a walk along with two punchouts.

Stolle led the way for Silex at the dish as well, going 3-3 with two doubles. Martin and Gruenloh had the only other hits for the Owls, who finish 14-7 on the season and tie with Northwest-Hughesville for third after the third-place game was cancelled due to weather.

Finney stared for the Cubs at the plate with three hits. Wright and Smith had two hits each and combined to drive in three runs. Bell City, which finished with 10 hits and left seven on base, improved to 23-3 on the season and moved to the Class 1 championship game against New Covenant Academy. Click here for the story.

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