"We got to hit him," Monbrum said. "We've got too good of guys in the lineup."
Shelbyville created some breathing room in the bottom of the fifth. With Zach Williams on third, Eli Miller hit a single to center field that plated Williams and brought Luke Hatfield to the plate. Down 0-2 in the count, Hatfield delivered a rocket that easily cleared the left field wall for a two-run shot to give the Rams a 5-1 lead with two innings remaining.
Windsor tried to muster a comeback in the top of the sixth behind the bat of Hayden Cole. With a runner on first after a walk, Cole drove one deep to center field where the ball may have mistakenly been judged a ground-rule double.
"Their outfielder said it was a home run," Monbrum said. "We still lose 5-3 but what are you going to do, I'm not going to get thrown out of the first game."
With runners on second and third and two outs, Justin Fulk grounded out to leave two runners stranded that could have potentially swung the momentum back in favor of the Blue Devils.
Down to one last chance in the top of the seventh, Windsor/Stew-Stras went three up, three down to fall short by a 5-1 final tally.
Vonderheide pitched three innings for the Blue Devils, allowing three hits and striking out three opponents in a losing effort. If it wasn't for a costly mistake at first, the ace would have kept the Rams off the scoreboard entirely.
"He threw fine," Monbrum said. "He didn't give up any runs if we keep our foot on the bag. Besides that one mistake our pitching was fine."
Ben Helton came in and pitched the remaining three frames, surrendering three runs on two hits for the Blue Devils. Shelbyville's Hawkins and reliever Jake Keown each allowed one hit, as the two combined to throw eight strikeouts. Though the Rams were certainly tough on the mound, Monbrum said the blame falls equally on his team's shoulders for their performance at the plate.