Shelby County finishes Vincent tourney 3-0-1

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

VINCENT – The Shelby County Wildcats continued an impressive 2019 baseball season during the week of spring break thanks to an undefeated showing at the Vincent spring break tournament between Tuesday, March 26, and Wednesday, March 27.

The Wildcats’ only blemish in the tournament came in their first game against West Blocton where they trailed heading into the final inning before pulling ahead, only to have West Blocton tie the game at 5-5, which became the final score.

Following that tie, however, Shelby County (16-6-1, 2-0) reeled off three consecutive wins by a combined 45-4 to conclude a strong showing in the tourney. A recap from each game is below.

Game 1: Shelby County 5, West Blocton 5

Shelby County entered the seventh inning of its matchup with West Blocton having given up a 3-0 lead by allowing four runs in the bottom of the sixth to fall behind 4-3.

The Wildcats, however, didn’t panic and scored two in the top half of the final inning to regain the lead at 5-4.

West Blocton again had a big answer in a clutch spot thought, and came back to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh. Shelby County was able to get out of a jam, however, as West Blocton left a runner on third and the game ended in a 5-5 tie.

The Wildcats were led by JP Fox at the plate with a 2-for-4 game featuring one RBI. Matthew Pearson and Greg Oliver both added one hit and one RBI apiece.

On the mound, Tre Aderholt got the start and tossed the first six innings allowing nine hits and four runs while striking out seven. Fox pitched the final inning and allowed two hits and one run, while striking out two.

Game 2: Shelby County 11, Donoho 1

For the second game in a row to start the tournament, the Wildcats were outhit, but thanks to five errors by Donoho, they were able to score 11 runs on just three hits, 10 of which came in the bottom of the sixth inning to lead to a mercy-rule win of 11-1 in six innings.

Shelby County took the early lead in the bottom of the second with the game’s first run, but that was all of the action until Donoho tied it in the top of the fifth at 1-1.

After Donoho went scoreless in the top of the sixth, the Wildcats stepped to the plate and unleashed an offensive explosion, scoring all 10 runs in the inning with two outs.

Shelby County took advantage of four walks, two hit batters, two errors, one single and a two-run home run from JT Pennington to post its 10 runs.

Pennington led the Wildcats at the plate with a 2-for-4 game, including two RBIs, while Oliver went 1-for-3 with two RBIs as well. Riley Lewter and Connor Aderholt both added one RBI apiece.

On the mound, Chase Holliman got the win allowing five hits and one run while striking out six.

Game 3: Shelby County 15, Vincent 3

For the first time in the tournament, the Wildcats were able to pick up a dominant win thanks to an actual dominant performance after outhitting Vincent 12-1 and scoring at least four runs in each of the first three innings to take down the host team 15-3 in a shortened four-inning win.

The Wildcats started the game with four runs in the first, then posted seven in the second and four more in the third to answer Vincent’s only three funs.

At the plate, Austin Harris went 2-for-3 with two RBIs, while Fox went 1-or-1 with two RBIs, two walks and two runs scored. Kaden Cardwell also picked up two hits going 2-for-2 with an RBI and a walk. Pearson added two RBIs and two runs scored as well.

Harris got the start on the mound and allowed one hit and three unearned runs while striking out seven to pick up the win.

Game 4: Shelby County 19, Lincoln 0

Unbelievably, the 12 hits Shelby County picked up against Vincent weren’t the most of the tournament, as the Wildcats posted 16 hits to take down Lincoln 19-0 in their final game of the tournament.

The Wildcats took a 1-0 lead after the first inning, and then put up five in the second, four in the third and nine in the fourth to close out another win in four innings.

Fox got the complete-game win on the mound thanks to three innings of scoreless pitching that featured two hits and four strikeouts.

Fox also led the team at the plate, finishing a triple shy of the cycle after going 3-for-4 with a home run, double and walk to post six RBIs. Oliver also had a solid game going 3-for-4 with two RBIs and three runs scored. Pennington and Lewter both went 2-for-3 with two RBIs in the win.