Shelby County dispatches Rich Township in four innings as Pennington tosses no-hitter

Published 5:02 pm Monday, March 18, 2024

By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

COLUMBIANA – The Shelby County Wildcats played host to Illinois’ Rich Township Raptors on Saturday, March 16, and Cooper Pennington’s dominance on the mound helped them earn a big win.

Pennington threw a four-inning no-hitter as the Wildcats cruised to a 12-0 run-rule win after four.

The Wildcats ace tossed 12 strikeouts across those four innings while surrendering just two walks as he took the no-hitter.

Over on the offensive end, Samuel Carter kicked off the game in style with a solo home run on the second pitch of the game, giving Shelby County a 1-0 lead.

The next inning, the Wildcats plated three runs in a four-play span to close the inning. Cale Blevins hit an RBI single with one out to start the scoring, and after a Micah Morris single on the next batter, Carter grounded out to allow Blevins to score. Morris then came home on a passed ball to put his team up 4-0 after two innings.

The Wildcats picked off a runner on the base paths to end the top of the third and got right back to work in the bottom of the frame.

After a hit batter and a Gannon Pharr double to start the inning, Amare Pickett hit an RBI single two batters later to increase the lead to five.

That kicked off four straight scoring plays with a bases-loaded walk and RBI singles by Blevins and Morris following to make the score 8-0.

A hit batter loaded up the bases once again with just one out, and a Ben Gann RBI single and a run off a passed ball put Shelby County up 11-0 after three innings.

The Wildcats needed to add one more run to seal the win. Shortly after Pennington struck out the side in the top of the fourth, he hit a one-out RBI single to finish off the 12-0 victory.

Morris and Blevins both went 2-2 in the win as Blevins had two runs and two RBIs and Morris had two runs and an RBI.

Shelby County has a pair of area games on deck for its next week as they take on Central of Clay County. The Wildcats will play the Volunteers on the road on Tuesday, March 19 at 4:30 p.m. and host their area foe on Thursday, March 21 at 4:30 p.m.