JOHN CURTIS - Daily Union Sports Editor
SHELBYVILLE, IL. — Shelbyville and Stew-Stras/Windsor met in the Sulliavn 2A Regional Championship game on Monday. Pitching problems frustrated the Comets and the Rams took advantage, winning the title in five innings, 10-0.
Payton Howell picked up where he left off on Saturday, when he came in two slam the door shut on LSA in the semifinal. Howell was in control on the Shelbyville mound. He struck out seven batters in five innings, allowed just three hits and walked two.
He KO'd the first two batters of the game, then covered 1st on a ground ball to get the put out. Unlike Saturday, Shelbyville wasted no time gettng on the board.
Quinn Martz led off with a base hit up the middle. SS/W center fielder Trevor Quast threw to 1st and Martz barely beat the strong throw. Martz stole 2nd and, with one out, Turner Pullen singled and drove Martz home, 1-0.
SS/W starter Dalton Armes began having control problems. Tylr Gottfriedt and Brett Spears walked and Cade Watson was hit by a pitch forcing in a run, 2-0. Daythan Summer walked and forced in another run, 3-0. Spears tried to take home on a passed ball and the catcher beat him to the plate for the 3rd out.
Christian Kessler led off the Comet 2nd off with a hit. Isaac Kramer walked. The next batter hit to Mason Cameron at 2nd and he started a 4-6-3 double play that Martz turned at 2nd and Watson caught at 1st. Howell rang up the next batter on three pitches.
In the Ram 2ndMartz got a 1-out bloop hit to right field. Cameron hit to the 2nd baseman for a possible double play, but he bobbled it. Everyone was safe.
Armes had technical problems called out of the blue. He was called on a balk and the runners moved up to 2nd and 3rd. He was called on it again and Martz scored and Cameron went to 3rd, 4-0. Pullen grounded out, but Cameron scored, 5-0
In the Comet 3rd, Ethan White led off with a walk. After a strikeout and a fly out to right, the catcher hit a pitch off the handle and it died between the mound and the 2nd baseman for an infield hit.
A pop out to the other side of the mound brought Howell and Martz together, bumping into each other as they both went for the ball. Martz went down with the ball in his glove for the out.
Gottfriedt led off with a hit and stole 2nd. He tried to steal 3rd, but was thown out. Isaac Kramer came in to pitch and got two strikeouts.
In the Comet 4th, Howell Ko'd Kessler on a 3rd strike curve. Kramer grounded out. A bloop hit got one man on, but he was stranded.
In the Ram 4th, Shelby up 5-0, put the 10-run rule in play. Summers got a bloop base hit over the shortstop. Aaron Byers then bunted and Kramer dove for the short pop up, but couldn't reach it. Byers was safe.
Cameron walked to load the bases and Pullen hit an RBI-single, scoring Byars, 5-0. Pullen was stealing 2nd, when Howell hit a single, scoring Cameron, 7-0. Pullen went all the way to 3rd and Braxton vice came in to run for Howell.
Gottfriedt walked and Spears reached on an error, scoring Pullen. Watson reached on another error, scoring Gottfriedt, 10-0.
Howell tried to end the game in a hurry in the top of the 5th. He rang up the first batter on a 3rd strike curve ball. He struck out the next batter. Quast hit a high chopper down the 3rd base line and Howell got to it, but couldn't get the speedy Quast in time. The next batter lifted a fly ball to center field and Spears squeezed for the win and the regional championship.
Shelbyville (17-4) will play Teutopolis at the Shelbyville Sectional on Saturday at 11 a.m. to see who goes to state.
Shelbyville 10, Stew-Stras/Windsor 0
Ram stats: Martz 2-for-3, SB, 2 runs; Cameron 0-for-2, BB, run; Pullen 2-for-3, 2 runs, 3 RBIs; Howell 1-for-3 (Brax. Vice run); Gottfriedt 1-for-1, 2 BBs, SB, run; Spears 0-for-4, ROE; Watson 0-for-2, HBP, ROE, RBI; Summers 1-for-2, run; Byars 1-for-2, bunt, run. Pitching (W) Howell 5 IP, 0 runs, 3 hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks.