WINDSOR- Things started about as well as they could have for Windsor/Stew-Stras (0-1) on Thursday. On the first at-bat of the season, senior Alex Allen connected on a crushing home run over the left-field wall, and the Blue Devils led Shelbyville 1-0 one batter in.
The Blue Devil bats would go cold from there, however, as Windsor/Stew-Stras put only one more hit on the board over the final six innings. Shelbyville (1-0) used the strong arm of Andrew Hawkins, and had more than enough power at the plate to come away with a 5-1 victory in the Blue Devils' season opener.
"Alex Allen is a college-bound player, he's a heck of a player," Blue Devils' coach Rodney Monbrum said. "That was great. I thought here we go, here's a start to a great season. Unfortunately, that's our only run of the game, that's baseball."
Ahead 1-0 in the bottom of inning two, Blue Devils' first baseman Trey Leasher stretched for an incoming ball, but his foot was ruled off the bag to give the Rams their first base runner of the game. The ruling would come back to haunt Monbrum's squad when pitcher Christian Vonderheide walked Garrett Manship to load the bases two batters later. Luke McConnell doubled to right field on the ensuing at-bat, plating two runners and the Rams led 2-1 after two innings.
"We had an error there," Monbrum said, "when they called him off the bag on the stretch. That guy came around and scored. You have an error, they make you pay."
Now playing from behind, the Blue Devils struggled to generate any offense against Hawkins. The powerful righty tossed five innings and struck out six batters before being retired, surrendering just one hit, on the opening at-bat, in the process. For Monbrum, the issue was not that Hawkins wasn't impossible to hit, but rather that his players weren't aggressive at the plate.