Shelby County offense explodes in win over Jemison

Published 11:08 am Friday, March 8, 2024

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By TYLER RALEY | Special to the Reporter

JEMISON – The Shelby County Wildcats picked up a massive win over the Jemison Panthers thanks to an offensive explosion at the plate on Wednesday, March 6 at Jemison High School.

Shelby County capitalized on its opportunities all throughout the game, setting it up to eventually run-rule Jemison in a 17-4 win.

The Wildcats got the party started early in the first inning. Following a leadoff walk from Colby Matherson, Gannon Pharr hit a single, but not before Matherson got thrown out trying to steal second.

That did not affect the momentum though, as Samuel Carter came up right after, blasting a two-run home run over the left field wall to give Shelby County a 2-0 lead.

Heading into the bottom of the first, Jemison knew it could not let the game get away early. Daniel Flores led the Panthers off with a double to center field. After a strikeout, a throwing error from a Cooper Smitherman bunt scored Flores to cut the deficit to one.

A quiet second inning gave the Wildcats all the time they needed to gain confidence back and channel it through their bats. At that point, it was all gas and no brakes.

The third inning began with a single by Carter into left field. A ground out gave Jemison its first putout of the inning before Cooper Pennington drew a walk and Cale Blevins legged out a single on a bunt, loading the bases with just one out.

Davis Ruston then drew another walk, making the score 3-1 before a strikeout put the second out on the board. Pennington would score on a wild pitch during the next at-bat that advanced all runners before Micah Morris took a hit of his own, earning himself a free pass and loading the bases again.

Matherson came up to the plate and hit a bases-clearing double to left field, making the score 7-1 Shelby County.

Pharr walked immediately after, setting up Carter to come back in the same inning and crush a three-run long ball to center field, extending the lead to 10-1.

The party would not stop there, as Nathan Owen made it back-to-back homers with a shot to left field to make it a ten-run lead.

The offense ended momentarily but came back in the fourth.

After a walk and two quick outs, Matherson hit an RBI single into left field to put the score at 12-1. That would be the only action produced for the Wildcats there, though.

Following quick work in the bottom half of the inning, Shelby County came back for more. After Carter was intentionally walked, Owen singled to center and Pennington singled to right, scoring another run. A walk drawn by Tucker Busby made the score 14-1.

A strikeout got the Panthers their first out of the inning, but unfortunately, one out was not enough to get back to the dugout. Ben Gann got hit by a pitch, scoring a run, leading to a ground out from Andrew Knight that brought in another one.

Finally, Matherson doubled into left field to score run number 17, officially ending the scoring festival for the Wildcats.

Jemison scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth, but that was nowhere near enough as Shelby County eventually picked up three outs, ending the game in a run rule.

Skylar Smith picked up the win for the Wildcats, pitching 4.1 innings and striking out four. He gave up four runs, with only one of them being earned. He allowed three hits and three walks as well.

Carter and Matherson were the hot hitters of the day, combining for nine RBIs and six hits at the plate.

With the win, Shelby County improved to 7-3 on the season, setting itself up with a positive start to its 2024 campaign.