John Curtis Daily Union Sports Editor
Shelbyville Daily Union
---- — Shelby Sr. Legion began the divisional playoffs at Mattoon, pounding Paris in eight innings, 12-2.
Shelby Legion is made up of players from the Windsor-Stew-Stras co-op, Shelbyville and Neoga. Windsor-StewStras and Shelbyville had banner years. But was the legion season started, the high school baseball-weary legion players took awhile to gel. No problem gelling on Sunday as the playoffs began.
Shelby had a 4-run rally out of the gate, Paris got on the board in the 4th, but Shelby answered with another 4-run rally in the 4th and a 3-run burst in the 5th to go up 11-2.
Paris was shut down over the next four innings and Shelby finally got the score that engaged the 10-run rule in the bottom of the 8th and walked off the field with the win.
Shelby out-hit Paris 12 to 2, Paris out-booted Shelby 4 to 1, Shelby drew 5 walks to just two for Paris and only six Shelby batters struck out over eight innings,
Shelby ace Christian Vonderheide limited Paris to just four hits over seven innings, walk no one and struck out nine. He also hit 2-for-4, scoring twice and driving in a run.
Two other Shelby batters had multiple hits. Hayden Cole hits 3-for-5 with two runs, a walk-off double and three RBIs. Michael Baker was 3-for-3, with a run and two RBIs.
Vonderheide KO’d 2-of-3 Paris batters in the 1st, then Shelby took advantage of Paris. Vonderheide led off reaching base and Jake Keown was hit by a pitch.
With one out, Luke Hatfield reached on an error. With two outs and the bases loaded, Cole laced a 2-run single. With two on and two out, Baker hit a 2-run single, 4-0 Shelby.
Vonderheide gave up a hit, but also threw another K, facing just four batters in the 2nd. Keown reached on an error in the 2nd, but only four Shelby batters came to the plate. Vonderheide put Paris down in order in the 3rd with another strikeout. Shelby went in order.
Paris scored in the 4th thanks to a long ball. With one out, Morris singled and the next batter, Behringer hit a 2-run homer. The next two batters went down.
Leading just 4-2 in the bottom of the 4th, Shelby got the separation they needed. Baker led off with a single, but was out going to 2nd. Neil Yockey reached base and Tyler Hendryx reached on an error.
Vonderheide singled a run in. Keown singled a run in. Vonderheide got to 3rd on errors, then stole home. With two outs, Hatfield singled and Shelby was up 8-2.
Paris went in order in the 5th on two ground balls to the mound and a pop up to Yockey at short. Shelby was still hot from the 4th and pulled away further from Paris.
Cole singled, Baker singled for the third time, and Yockey walked. Hendryx singled two runs in and Vonderheide sacrificed runners over. Keown walked and Theis drove in a run on a ground out, 11-2 Shelby.
Vonderheide threw a K in the 6th, an error allowed a runner on and Vonderheide gave up a single. He then rang up the next two batters. Shelby was scoreless in the 6th. No matter, Vonderheide rang up the first two batters in the 7th and Yockey threw out the other.
Shelby went down in order in the 7th. Paris got a runner to 3rd in the 8th, but no further. Aaron White came on in relief and gave up two walks. A fielder’s choice moved a runner to 3rd.
With runners at 1st and 3rd an infield fly rule froze the runners. A ground out ended Paris best last chance to get a run across.
In the bottom of the 8th, Theis drew a lead-off walk. Hatfield went deep, just not deep enough. It was caught to keep Paris alive. With one out, Trevor Moore walked. Cole came to the plate and smoked a double, driving in the game-ending run, 12-2.
Shelby County Legion 12, Paris Legion 2
Paris 000200 00--2-4-4
Shelby stats: Vonderheide 2-for-4, 2B, sacb, SB, 2 runs, RBI; Keown 1-for-3, HBP, BB, 2 runs, RBI; Theis 0-for-4, BB, run, RBI; Hatfield 1-for-5, run; Hawkins 0-for-3; Moore, 2 BBs; Cole 3-for-5, 2B, 2 runs, 3 RBIs; Baker 3-for-3, run, 2 RBIs; McConnell 0-for-1; Yockey 1-for-3, BB, 2 runs; Hendryx 1-for-3, run, 2 RBIs; Helton 0-for-1. Pitching (W) Vonderheide 7 IP, 2 runs, 4 hits, 0 BB, 9 Ks; White 1 IP, 0 runs, 0 hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks.
Paris stats: Cox 0-for-3, BB, SB; Foster 0-for-4; Morris 2-for-4, run; Behringer 2-for-4, HR, run, 2 RBIs; Chambers 0-for-2; Sweet 0-for-1; McDaniel 0-for-3; Toney 0-for-2; Stone 0-for-1; Whitacie 0-for-3; Coffman 0-for-2, BB. Pitching (L) Chambers 4 IP, 11 runs, 11 hits, 1 BB, 4 Ks; Sweet 3 1/3 IP, 1 run, 1 hit, 4 BBs, 2 Ks.