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Hilltopper mistakes pave way for a 14-1 rout by Rising Sun
, Courier Sportswriter
Saturday, May 18, 2013 5:00 AM
ORVC SHOWDOWN: Shawe center fielder Jordan Chandler (below) leaps to make a catch on a hard-hit ball during Friday’s game with Rising Sun at Post 9 Field. The Shiners’ Nathan Hannan (above, 2) slides safely into home after the ball bounces away from Shawe catcher Jesse Ball. Class A No. 4 Rising Sun ran away with the easy 14-1 win. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
Mistakes proved fatal for Shawe Memorial in a 14-1 baseball setback to Rising Sun Friday in Madison.
The Hilltoppers issued seven walks and hit four batters, committed two mistakes on the basepaths and misplayed two fly balls during the brief five-inning game.
Those mistakes were too many against the fourth-ranked team in Class A, which also pounded out 10 hits to clinch the Ohio River Valley Conference championship outright with the win.
"We just made too many mistakes out there tonight," Shawe coach Matt Forner said. "There's really no other way to put it. You can't make those kind of mistakes against a team like Rising Sun and expect to be successful."
Rising Sun (18-3, 10-2 ORVC) essentially won the game in the first inning with seven runs that chased Shawe starter Luke Higgins after just one-third of an inning.
Higgins was his own worst enemy in the outing. He walked the first two batters of the game, Cody Weaver and Ryan Dugan, then threw two wild pitches to bring in a run. A passed ball led to another run.
Another walk and a hit batter set the stage for Rising Sun's first hit of the game, a towering triple to deep center field by Austin Armstrong that brought in two more runs. Cody Beckett followed with an RBI double.
After Higgins hit his second batter of the inning Forner had seen enough and pulled his senior in favor of freshman Grayson Rhoten. Rhoten got out of the inning but not before an RBI single by Brady Murray and a sacrifice fly from Weaver put the Shiners ahead 7-0.
"Luke hadn't pitched in a week and a half and he said that it affected him," Forner said.
Shawe (11-10, 5-6 ORVC) got a run back in the bottom of the first but ran itself out of a bigger inning.
David Grote led off the inning with a single and Jesse Ball drew a walk. Higgins then hit a sharp single to center field.
Forner held Grote at third but Ball never saw his teammate stop and was an easy out in the rundown. The full impact of the mistake was felt when Jordan Chandler reached on an infield single that just scooted between three Shiner defenders to score Grote.
It was Shawe's last highlight of the game. Nathan Hannan led off the second for Rising Sun with a double and later scored on David Huber's sacrifice fly.
The Shiners then forced the mercy rule with six more runs in the fourth inning. Five hits, including a pair of two-run doubles by Weaver and Hannan, blew open the game.
Hannan was 2-for-3 with two doubles, two RBIs and a run scored to lead Rising Sun's offense and also picked up the win on the mound. The Shiner ace limited Shawe to just four singles in five innings while striking out six and walking three.
Beckett also had two hits for Rising Sun while Weaver had a double and three RBIs.
Higgins took the loss after giving up seven earned runs on just two hits in his third of an inning on the mound. Rhoten allowed seven runs in three and one-third innings on eight hits and three walks. Kyle Daugherty went the final inning and a third and allowed just a walk while striking out two.
Three of Shawe's four hits in the game came in the first inning. Brandon Callis' infield single in the fourth was the Hilltoppers' only other safety.
Shawe has a busy next few days. The Hilltoppers host Borden for a single game today at 11 a.m. and host Milan in a make-up game on Monday at Shawe/Post 9 Field. The Hilltoppers then open sectional play at home against Jac-Cen-Del on Wednesday.
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