Shelby County downs East Limestone in Huntsville’s Toyota Field

Published 6:58 pm Monday, March 4, 2024

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

HUNTSVILLE – The home of the Double-A Rocket City Trash Pandas was the site of another great day of Shelby County Wildcats baseball as they defeated the East Limestone Indians 4-2 before a tight 7-5 game against the Class 7A James Clemens Jets on Saturday, March 2 at Toyota Field.

The start of their game against East Limestone was closely fought as the pitchers dominated the opening four innings. Neither side managed more than a hit an inning and an Indians triple in the top of the third was as close as either team got to scoring during that time.

After getting out of a two-on and two-out situation in the top of the fifth, Shelby County made its move in a big way in the bottom of the frame.

A pair of walks to start the half-inning put the Wildcats in business. Ben Gann then hit a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners to second and third with one out.

On the next pitch, Colby Matherson bunted into a fielder’s choice but reached second base on an error. That allowed both runners to score and put Shelby County up 2-0.

The Wildcats weren’t content with just two runs after a hit by pitch on the next at-bat put runners on the corners. An error by the East Limestone pitcher in the middle of an at-bat allowed Matherson to come home for the third run.

Despite taking a strikeout in that plate appearance, Shelby County extended its lead once again as Gannon Pharr hit an RBI single on the first pitch to close out the scoring for the inning at four runs.

The Indians threatened to make it a close game in their last chance at the plate in the top of the seventh. After a leadoff groundout, a hit by pitch and a single put two runners on and one out.

East Limestone scored both runners with a two-run double, but the Wildcats got a runner out and earned a strikeout to finish off the 4-2 win.

Micah Morris earned the win in a 10-strikeout performance across a six-inning shutout. He gave up five hits and one walk while keeping the Indians scoreless.

In the second game of the day against James Clemens, Shelby County jumped out to a 3-0 lead before the Jets took a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the second.

After James Clemens extended the lead to two, the Wildcats tied up the game at 5-5 in the top of the fifth.

However, the Jets had the last word with a pair of runs in the sixth to take the win.

Pharr scored two runs in the game as he went 1-3 with a walk. Cooper Pennington and Tucker Busby each earned three strikeouts on the mound.

Shelby County will have a few days to recover before taking another big stage in the Terry Sykes Memorial Showcase in Troy from March 7-8.