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Southwestern pulls away from Shawe late for first win, 14-4
, Courier Sportswriter
Thursday, April 17, 2014 11:00 AM
ORVC BATTLE: Shawe’s Whit Grote slides across home plate (above) as Southwestern catcher Robbie Stoner awaits the throw during Wednesday’s game in Hanover. Rebel third baseman Tristan Embs runs down Shawe baserunner Brad Koehler (below) after Koehler got caught in between bases. Southwestern scored five runs in the fourth to pull away for the 14-4 win, its first of the season. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
Southwestern broke open a close game with five runs in the fourth inning and pulled away for a 14-4, six-inning win over county-rival Shawe Memorial Tuesday in Hanover.
Shawe had tied the game with a three-run third and the Rebels answered with two in the bottom half of the inning. An inning later, Southwestern zeroed in on starter Whit Grote for five runs on six hits to blow the game open.
That's all it took to send Southwestern to its first win of the season. The Rebels added three runs in the fifth and one in the sixth to end the game early.
"Offensively, that was a big step for us. We've been struggling to swing the bat," Southwestern coach Derik Hutton said. "I've actually been happy with our approach, it's just that the results haven't been very good. To come out and get 13 hits is definitely good for our confidence."
Four different Rebels posted multi-hit games and seven in total picked up safeties in the game. Tristan Embs and Tryston Wheatley had three hits each for Southwestern and Embs and Adam Jackson both had four RBIs.
Southwestern (1-3, 1-1 Ohio River Valley) struck for two runs in the first when Gage Hartman was hit by a pitch and later scored on Embs' double to right. Embs then came in on an Jackson sacrifice fly.
Robbie Stoner led off the second with a single and courtesy runner Alex Marion later scored on a Michael Baker-Conover sac fly to put Southwestern ahead 3-0.
But Shawe (0-5, 0-3 ORVC) came right back. The young Hilltoppers had managed just one run in four previous games but struck for three in the third to tie the game. Kaelan Jines and Grote had back-to-back singles and Jines scored on an error for Shawe's first run.
The Hilltoppers got two more runs when Kyle Wisman singed to right to score Grote. Grayson Rhoten, who had reached on the earlier error, then scampered home when Rebel catcher Stoner threw to second on the play in an attempt to nab the advancing Wisman.
Shawe could have had even more runs in the inning but lost its first baserunner, Brad Koehler, to a run-down between second and third. Still, Hilltopper coach Matt Forner was very pleased with his team.
"We're starting to hit the ball and we're being aggressive," Forner said. "We only had five hits but we were putting the ball in play. We're not sitting back hoping to get walks."
Southwestern jumped back on top with two in the third on a Jackson RBI double and an RBI-single by Stoner. But the Rebels' big inning was the fourth.
Grote, who had given up only five hits in the first three innings, was hit hard in the fourth as Southwestern found its groove. Baker-Conover, Hartman, Embs, Mathew Schwartz, Jackson and Wheatley each had hits to chase Grote from the game after scoring five runs. The only out the Rebels made during the stretch was on a sacrifice bunt.
"He was pitching pretty good but when you get through the third time through the lineup, they start getting on it," Forner said. "We tried to make the adjustment maybe a little too late, but his pitch count was pretty good and he was locating well. There were several times when we didn't make the play that would have squashed the momentum and stopped it right there."
Shawe scored a run on an error in the fifth and Southwestern put three more on the board in the sixth to extend the lead to 13-4. The Rebels loaded the bases and scored on a wild pitch in the sixth to end the game on the mercy rule.
Along with his three hits, Wheatley also picked up the win on the mound with a complete-game five-hitter that included only one earned run. The freshman righty struck out five, walked two and hit a batter for his first varsity win.
"Tryston was around the plate and pitched very well," Hutton said. "That's going to be the key in the ORVC: throwing strikes. If you can do that, you have success and Trsyton did that today."
Embs had a double and scored twice to go with his 3-for-4, four-RBI day. Jackson was 2-for-2, scored twice and had four RBIs. Stoner went 2-for-3 with an RBI, Schwartz and Hartman each had a hit and scored three times, and Ary Mitchell had an RBI.
Rhoten, Jines, Whit Grote, Wisman and Chris Grote all singled for Shawe's five hits. Whit Grote allowed 10 runs - eight earned - on 11 hits in three and a third innings. Jines gave up four unearned runs on two hits in two innings of work.
The victory was the first of the season for Southwestern which opened the year with losses to Silver Creek, Madison and Rising Sun. Hutton said that just getting a win will go a long way toward helping the confidence of his young team.
"Usually the first week, first week and a half of our season is pretty brutal because we're playing bigger schools and very successful baseball programs," Hutton said. "It's hard for a lot of young guys to battle through that week and a half when we're not winning. To get a win any way that you can helps the confidence, especially when you have five freshmen out there."
Shawe remains winless on the season through five games but Forner has already seen improvement.
"We're a much better team in game five than we were in game one," Forner said. "The big key is the attitude is still there and they're working hard. This is a good group to be around."
Both teams return to action today. Shawe hosts Switzerland County while Southwestern travels to Henryville.
Carroll rolls over Warriors
Carroll County baseball combined 16 hits with solid pitching to defeat Eminence 18-3 on Wednesday in Carrollton.
The Panthers quickly built up an overwhelming lead through the game's first three innings. Carroll scored three runs in the bottom of the first and blew the door wide open in the second with nine runs followed by a five-run third inning for a 17-0 lead.
After Eminence scored a run in the top of the fourth, Carroll added its final run of the game before the Warriors scored two in the top of the fifth for the eventual 18-3 final score. The game ended on the 10-run rule after five innings.
Ten different Panthers combined for the team's 16 hits. Jacob Wise and Zakk Hicks were each a perfect 3-for-3 with three runs scored. Wise also had three RBIs while Hicks had two.
Seth Hicks was 2-for-2 with two runs scored and three RBIs. Alex Burns, Keifer McIntyre, Will Wallace, Tyler Stewart and Austin Dunn each had a hit.
Wise and Wallace combined to throw a one-hitter on the mound. Wise started and got the win, throwing four innings of no-hit baseball while giving up an earned run with five walks and eight strikeouts.
Wallace pitched the fifth inning, giving up two unearned runs on one hit while walking one and striking out two.
Carroll County (9-5) hosts Henry County today.
PHOTOS: Southwestern pulls away from Shawe late for first win, 14-4
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