John Curtis Daily Union Sports Editor
Shelbyville Daily Union
---- — Hillsboro came to Shelbyville (4-0) and posted a 4-run rally in the 4th inning and took a 5-3 lead on Saturday. Shelby knotted the score in the bottom of the inning and Andrew Hawkins came in to halt Hillsboro. The Rams kept hitting and pulled away for an 8-5 victory.
Hawkins extended his record to a perfect 3-0, recording three wins in four appearances this season. He has been cited by Ram Coach Sam Mehl for the consistent location of his pitches. Saturday was no different. Hawkins came on in the 5th and pitched three hit-less innings, allowing three walks and striking out three.
The Ram hit squad did their part as well. Hammering Luke Hatfield, 2-for-3, launched two more home runs, his third and fourth in just four games, driving in three runs. Hatfield hit a 2-run shot in the 3rd to put the Rams up 3-1. Sophmore Brett Peifer, 1-for-2, also went yard, a 3-run shot, while Nate Standerfer hit safely again, going 1-for-3 with a run batted in.
Hillsboro had a big fourth, as the Ram wheels all but came off. A walk, some throwing errors, more walks and a home put them up, 5-3. In the bottom of the 4th, Peifer laid down a suicide squeeze bunt that tied the score, 5-5.
"That was an even bigger play for us," said Ram Coach Sam Mehl. "I'm really happy with him playing that well in his first varsity start."
The Rams fought right back.
"It was a pretty good game, before they scored a few runs in the 4th," Coach Mehl said. "Eli (Miller) struggled with control and there was errors and that's how those kind of innings go. What I was really happy about was how we responded."
After knotting the score in the 4th, Hawkins came in to pitch and save the day. Hatfield hit a go-ahead home run for Shelby in the 5th, his second of the day, 6-5 Rams. The Rams added another pair of runs in the 6th to cushion their lead and get the win.
Shelbyville out-hit Hillsboro eight to two. Hillsboro took advantage of free passes and Ram errors, coupled with just those two hits to challenge the Rams. One of their two hits was a homer.
Shelbyville (4-0) was to play host to Neoga on Monday, host Dieterich on Tuesday and travel to Mt. Zion, Wednesday, before going to the Clinton Tourney on Saturday.
Shelbyville 8, Hillsboro 5
H'boro 100 400 0--5-2-1
Shelby 102 212 x--8-8-2
Ram stats: Hatfield 2-for-3, 2 HRs, 3 RBIs; Peifer 1-for-2, HR, 3 RBIs; Standerfer 1-for-3, RBI. Pitching (W) Hawkins (3-0) 3 IP, 0 runs, 0 hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks; (Starter) Miller 4 IP.
H'boro stats: Tomazzoli 1-for-2, HR, 3 RBIs; Cenutti 1-for-4. Pitching (L) Tomazzoli 6 IP, 8 runs, 8 hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks.