The big downfall of being seeded #2 in the Class 2 District 8 tournament was the anticipated second-round match-up with an 11-2 South Shelby squad who many questioned if they weren’t every bit as deserving as Scotland County and Schuyler County for the district’s top ranking.
On Monday night in Shelbina, the Tigers put that talk to rest, crushing the Cardinals 14-1 to set up a rematch versus the Rams in the district title game on Wednesday.
South Shelby actually struck first, plating an unearned run in the top of the first inning.
SCR-I responded in big-time fashion, batting around in their half of the first, plating five runs in the process. Cordie Kigar led off with a base hit. After a walk to Drew Miller, Andrew Mathes tied the game with an RBI single. Harley Stone doubled home Miller to make it 2-1 before Ben Shannan crushed a three-run homer.
The senior seemed to ride the momentum of the big hit back to the mound, where he was on cruise control. Shannan retired seven straight before surrendering a base on balls in the fourth inning. That was the lone blip on the radar, as the Tigers hurler struck out the final six batters en route to the dominating performance.
The Tigers limited his workload to just five innings courtesy of an offensive onslaught that ended the game in five innings by the 10-run rule.
Scotland County batted around again the second inning, sending 11 batters to the plate, scoring six runs in the process.
Miller singled and Mathes walked to set the stage for Stone. He plated one with a base hit. After Shannan reached on an error, Brice Cowell produced an RBI single. A walk to Brock Bondurant was followed by a two-run single by Tyler Buford. Kigar plated the final run with a base hit to make it 11-1.
Stone continued to swing a hot bat in the third inning. He drove home Mathes with an RBI double. Stone scored on a balk, Blessing walked and scored on a base hit by Cowell to make the margin 14-1 after three innings.
That was more than enough scoring for Shannan, who notched the victory, allowing just one unearned run on two hits and one walk over five innings. He recorded strike outs for 14 of the 15 outs in the contest.