Brothers in arms: Sheehans anchor PHS

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 19, 2004

High school baseball’s newest 6A state champions might want to thank Lance and Sissy Sheehan.

After all, the Pelham couple raised two of the players who took key roles in this year’s championship series against Prattville.

The Sheehan’s middle son, Shaun, a senior at PHS, was named tournament MVP while their youngest, freshman Brandon, was called

to pitch in game three of the three-game series.

Shaun’s contributions during the series came as little surprise to those who followed Pelham baseball this season, but few expected a freshman pitcher to pick up the win in the game that clinched the Panthers their first baseball state championship.

Brandon, who spent most of the season on the freshman squad, hadn’t pitched in a varsity game since his appearance in a 4-3 loss to John Carroll during spring break.

Still, head coach Mike O’Berry said the Pelham staff never wavered when they decided to put 15-year-old Brandon on the mound with the state title on the line.

&uot;We weren’t concerned,&uot; O’Berry said. &uot;We had confidence in him when we invited him to put on the Pelham uniform. And from a starter’s standpoint, we knew he could throw the ball over plate.&uot;

Brandon delivered, giving up six hits during four and a third innings of work to earn the win at Montgomery’s Paterson Field last Thursday. The 2 runs scored by Prattville while he was on the mound were both unearned.

Shaun, who was charged with the loss in game two, was never much farther than 60 feet from his little brother as Brandon faced the Lions’ talented hitters in the series finale.

When Brandon ran into some early trouble, Shaun walked over from his starting position at first base to calm him down.

&uot;I came out while he was pitching trying to settle him down,&uot; Shaun said.

Shaun’s trips to the mound weren’t reserved strictly for his brother this season.

&uot;They listen to me,&uot; said the elder Sheehan of his tendency to offer Pelham’s pitchers a few words of support, when he himself is not on the mound.

It’s just one example of the leadership that earned him the votes of his teammates as Pelham’s most valuable player the past two seasons.

&uot;Shaun’s been big for us for three years,&uot; O’Berry said. &uot;We relied on him pitching-wise all season.&uot;

Shaun was the ace for the Panthers this year, finishing with a 12-3 record with two saves, 83 strikeouts and a 2.00 ERA.

He also led Pelham from the plate with 3 home runs and 44 RBIs, both team highs. Shaun hit .400 on the year.

During the championship series, he went 6-for-9 with two doubles, 3 runs and three RBIs to earn MVP honors. He was also credited with the save in game one.

Shaun recently signed a baseball scholarship with Tennessee Tech, and will become the second Sheehan to play college baseball. Oldest brother, Jason Sheehan, graduated from Pelham three years ago and signed with Jefferson State