SHAWE ROMP: Shawe Memorial’s Jordan Chandler fist-bumps coach Matt Forner while rounding third (above) after hitting a home run as Southwestern third baseman Brad Sims watches during Tuesday’s game in Hanover. The Hilltoppers’ David Grote (below) took a perfect game into the fifth inning and settled for a one-hitter in the 8-1 Shawe win. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
SHAWE ROMP: Shawe Memorial’s Jordan Chandler fist-bumps coach Matt Forner while rounding third (above) after hitting a home run as Southwestern third baseman Brad Sims watches during Tuesday’s game in Hanover. The Hilltoppers’ David Grote (below) took a perfect game into the fifth inning and settled for a one-hitter in the 8-1 Shawe win. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
David Grote wasn't perfect, but the Shawe senior was still nearly unhittable in leading the baseball Hilltoppers to an 8-1 win over Southwestern Tuesday in Hanover.

Grote sat down the first 12 batters he faced, including five in a row via strikeout at one point. He lost both the perfect game and no-hitter in the fifth inning but still ended up allowing just one unearned run on one hit in the complete-game win.

"David has just been solid all year," Shawe coach Matt Forner said. "Whenever we put David on the mound, we absolutely know that we're going to be in every game."

Grote grounded out the first batter he faced, Darius Whitson-Spegal, and then struck out the next five to set the tone for the game. Over the first four innings, Southwestern only hit one ball out of the infield.

The perfect game ended when Caleb Rogers reached when Shawe shortstop Luke Higgins overthrew first base open the fifth. But Rogers was gunned down trying to reach second on the play thanks to a terrific throw by first-baseman Kyle Daugherty.

The next batter, Tristan Embs, then broke up the no-hitter when he dropped a bloop single into shallow right field. Brad Sims followed by drawing a walk but Grote escaped from the inning with the shutout intact.

"We gave up that error and who knows, if we make that play, maybe we still have the momentum," Forner said. "But Kyle made a great play and the important thing was that we didn't let it snowball on us. Earlier in the season we may have done that."

By the time Grote gave up his first baserunners, Shawe already held a 7-0 lead and was well on its way to the easy win.

The Hilltoppers picked up a run in the first when Jesse Ball laced a one-out double and later scored on Luke Higgins' RBI single.

Shawe got to Southwestern starter Mackenzy Withered for five runs in the third to blow the game open. Daugherty plated two runs with a line-drive single and scored from first on Higgins' double on a close play at the plate. Jordan Chandler then followed Higgins with a two-run home run to left center.

"Jordan Chandler has just been hitting the ball so well," Forner said. "I thought Withered actually pitched pretty well. We were able to take advantage of some mistakes and break it open."

Daugherty led off the fifth with a single and scored on Branden Callis' RBI single to make it 7-0. Grayson Rhoten drew a leadoff walk in the sixth and eventually scored on Grote's groundout to lead 8-0.

Southwestern scored its only run in the sixth without the benefit of a hit. Gage Hartman drew a leadoff walk, went to second on an error, advanced to third on a groundout and scored on Withered's groundout.

Grote struck out seven and walked three in the complete-game effort. Higgins, Chandler and Daugherty had two hits and two RBIs each.

All eight runs scored against Withered were earned. But the senior right-hander also struck out nine and walked two over seven innings.

Shawe visits New Washington today while Southwestern visits South Ripley on Friday.

Madison beats BNL 7-5 in HHC tourney opener

Madison baseball advanced in the Hoosier Hills Conference tournament on Tuesday with a 7-5 opening round win over Bedford North Lawrence at Gary O'Neal Field in Madison.

"It was an ugly game and we weren't at our best but we gutted one out and advanced," Madison coach Shannon Barger said.

After the Stars scored a run in the top of the first to lead 1-0, Madison responded with two runs in the bottom half of the inning plus two in the second and three in the third to hold a 7-1 advantage.

Bedford North Lawrence made attempts at a comeback in the final two innings, scoring three in the sixth and one in the seventh before the Cubs were finally able to slam the door shut and win 7-5.

Clark Vaughn led the offensive attack for Madison with two doubles.

Ryan Thurston picked up the victory on the mound for the Cubs, pitching six innings. Vaughn pitched the final inning to record the save.

Madison (9-12) will visit Jeffersonville today to face the Red Devils in the semifinals of the HHC Tournament.