Patience pays off for Shawe with 8-run rally in top of 7th
Hilltoppers turn 2-2 tie into 10-8 win at Milan
Saturday, May 04, 2013 5:00 AM
An anxious Shawe baseball squad struggled to a 2-2 standoff at Milan through sixth innings Friday and then used a big dose of patience to bat around against the Indians in the top of the seventh en route to a 10-2 rout.
Shawe starting pitcher David Grote had cruised through five innings of shutout baseball before Milan strung together a couple of hits and a Shawe error to knot the game 2-2 and make things very interesting heading into the top of the seventh.
Shawe skipper Matt Forner had seen enough of his Hilltoppers' impatience at the plate by then and called the team aside to issue a directive that nobody could swing - at anything - in the seventh until Milan had thrown at least one strike.
The move paid off and the Hilltoppers immediately fired up a huge rally that saw Grote lead off with a single and the team bat around to bury the Indians under an eight-run avalanche that was capped by Jesse Ball's bases-loaded triple to win the game going away.
"We started getting ahead in the count and we started hitting. We got a couple of walks and got some baserunners and started hitting the ball solid," Forner said. "Our hitters had been off balance all game up until that.
"Surprisingly, Milan's like 0-11 but I don't believe they had an error against us. They played solid and hit the ball against us and we could not hit anything to save our lives until the seventh," Forner added.
Forner said the seventh-inning outburst saved the Hilltoppers from wasting a strong outing by Grote on the mound. The senior struck out seven and walked one while giving up two runs on eight hits.
"The thing about our team is they don't give up," Forner added. "They get frustrated but they don't give up ... David Grote pitched another great game for us and we played good defense behind him."
Ball led the Shawe offense with a 3-for-4 day at the plate with two runs and three RBIs. Grote was 1-for-3 and scored three times, Kyle Daugherty was 1-for-5 with a double, drove in two and scored once and Grayson Rhoten was 1-for-2 with a run and two RBIs.
Forner noted that with the win the Hilltoppers finally climbed above .500 on the season with a 9-8 record.
Shawe visits Lanesville today for a round-robin doubleheader with Austin at noon and Lanesville to follow.
Jennings beats Madison 9-4 on cancer benefit night
Jennings County scored in every inning but the sixth to pull away for a 9-4 win over Madison and ruin the Cubs' special cancer benefit game Friday at Gary O'Neal Field.
The game was billed as the "Ks for Kancer" game with both teams donating $10 for every strikeout recorded. Only a total of $60 was raised on the field thanks to the lack of Ks, but much more was earned on donations throughout the park.
Jennings County didn't hit Madison starter Ethan Leach hard but the Panthers did just enough to chip away, scoring two runs in the first, third and seventh innings and one each in the second, fourth and fifth.
Madison kept pace early with solo runs in the first two innings and had its chances late but failed to capitalize on numerous opportunities to get back into the game.
"It's a good night, I don't want to ruin the cancer night," Madison coach Shannon Barger said. "We just were not sharp. We got behind a lot of hitters, we didn't do a lot of things early and (Jennings) took advantage of some chances and we didn't."
Madison's biggest threat came in the fifth when, trailing 6-2, the Cubs scored a run when Xavier Barnes knocked in Brandon Mann with a base hit.
The Cubs ended up loading the bases in the inning with just one out but were unable to get the run in. Madison scored another run in the seventh but got no closer.
"We've been one hit away in a lot of games from either breaking it open or tying it or winning it," Barger said. "Hopefully we can starting getting that one big hit. We got it on Wednesday (against Providence)."
Ryan Thurston and Derek Anderson were 2-for-4 each to lead Madison. Thurston also had a pair of RBIs.
Leach went three innings and suffered the loss after allowing five runs. Sam McIlvain pitched two innings in relief and Anderson pitched the final two frames.
Before the game, cancer survivors Branson Facemire and Cecil Barger threw out ceremonial first pitches. Facemire, a sophomore and a member of Madison's junior varsity team, had a portion of his lung removed when he was 2 years old and went through 11 chemotherapy treatments but has been since diagnosed as cancer free. Barger, the Madison coach's father, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma in 2008.
"This was really a special night for everybody involved," Barger said. "I had no idea about Branson until just a few weeks ago and I can't imagine what he and his family went through. It was just a great story. Hopefully, we've been able to help a little and raise a little money for cancer research."
Madison, now 8-12 on the season after a 1-8 start, opens the Hoosier Hills Conference tournament on Monday. The Cubs host Bedford North Lawrence.
Southwestern grinds out
9-4 win at Jac-Cen-Del
Southwestern ground out nine runs on 13 hits to defeat Jac-Cen-Del 9-4 in Ohio River Valley Conference baseball Friday in Osgood.
The Rebels were led by Adam Jackson, Gage Hartman, Darius Whitson-Spegal, Caleb Rogers and Cory O'Neal with two hits each. It was Whitson-Spegal's two-run triple in the sixth inning that finally allowed the Rebels to pull away for the road win.
Whitson-Spegal started the game on the mound before giving way to Tristan Embs who picked up the win.
Southwestern will be back on the road today for a doubleheader in Charlestown.