John Curtis Daily Union Sports Editor
Shelbyville Daily Union
---- — Spencer Shadwell went 5-for-5 and hit a walk-off single to bring Shelbyville back from the dead and keep them in the hunt for a conference title on Tuesday, beating Tolono, 9-8.
The Rams tried to boot the game away early on, but in the end it was Tolono that left the door open for the Ram comeback. Brett Peifer cranked a 2-run homer to keep the game close in the 4th, down 4-2.
Tolono responded with a 4-run 5th and the Rams were staring up at an 8-2 deficit. Shelby got a solo down payment in the 5th, then posted two 3-run rallies in the 6th and 7th to get the win.
Unity hitters were on Ram starter Lucas Duckett from the first pitch and loaded the bases in the 1st. A single scored one and a bases jammed walk another run with just one out.
Luke McConnell caught a pop up and Shadwell made a play at 2nd to get out of the jam down just 2-0.
Shadwell led off with a Ram single, but the rest of the line-up had trouble with Snodgrass' offerings from the mound.
Shelby put Tolono down in order in the 2nd with a ground-out play from McConnell a Duckett strikeout and Hendryx squeezing a fly ball in center.
Peifer laced a 1-out single for Shelby in the 2nd, but Snodgrass struck out his third and fourth batters.
Shelby booted the ball to let a runner on in the Tolono 3rd. A force-out at 2nd was followed by another Ram error. A fly ball to right field was caught by Bart Kennell and he threw to home to gun down the runner as Peifer tagged him out.
Kennell was also adept at putting the ball in play and getting on base. he beat out a fumbled ball at 1st to lead off the Ram 3rd. Shadwell got his second single and the Rams were cooking.
With runners on 2nd and 3rd, a sizzling liner went to the shortstop and he doubled the runner off 3rd. Snodgrass KO'd the next man and it was still, 2-0.
The Rams were holding their own in the Tolono 4th as McConnell threw the first two batters out from short. Tolono got a 2-out double, then the Rams committed two straight errors and let two runs score, 4-0 Tolono.
Shelby needed something to go right. McConnell drew a lead-off walk and, with one out, Peifer lost a ball over the evergreens beyond the left field fence for a 2-run homer.
Shelby inched closer, down 4-2, and it was too close for Tolono comfort in the 5th. A lead-off walk was followed by a double and two RBI-singles in a row. A sacrifice fly RBI made it 8-2 with just one out.
McConnell had come on in relief and threw a batter out from the mound. He walked a man, but Peifer gunned him down trying to steal 2nd to bring the Rams to the plate.
Shadwell led off the Ram 5th with his third straight single. With two outs, McConnell smacked a double and Shadwell raced home, 8-3.
McConnell KO's the first two Tolono batters in the 6th, then walked the next two. But Brachbill made the long throw on a ground ball to bring the Rams up again.
Snodgrass rang up his seventh Ram to start the 6th. But Tytler Hendryx responded with a double. With two outs, Kennell slapped a single and sent Hendryx home, 8-4.
Shadwell had Snodgrass' number and his third hit of the game was a triple, scoring Kennell, 8-5. Brachbill walked with two outs, then Duckett singled Shadwell across, 8-6.
Tolono needed to score in the 7th to hold off the surging Rams, but they couldn't. Meyer made the 3-unassisted play at 1st and Shadwell made the play on a grounder to 2nd. After a single, Duckett made the short play on fielder's choice, short to 2nd.
The Rams were still down two in the bottom of the 7th, but they were believing. Snodgrass got the hook and Crouse came on in relief in the 7th.
Meyer led off with a double down the left field line. Peifer singled and stole 2nd. The tying runs were in scoring position with no outs. After a pop up, pinch-hitter Dylan Patch fought off a strikeout and drew a walk.
Kennell reached base again, out-racing the throw as Tolono couldn't make the infield play, tying the score, 8-8.
Shadwell had been perfect at the plate and that wasn't about to change. He came to the batter's box with two men on and one out. he took the ball to left field again and turned the fielder around in a circle. The fielder couldn't get to the ball and Patch scored the winning run on the walk-off single, 9-8.
Shelbyville 9, Tolono 8
Tolono 200 240 0--7-7-1
Shelby 000 213 3--9-14-5
Ram stats: Shadwell 5-for-5, 3B, 2 runs, 2 RBIs; Brachbill 0-for-3, BB; Duckett 1-for-4, 1B, RBI; McConnell 1-for-3, 2B, BB, run, RBI; Meyer 1-for-4, 2B, run; Peifer 3-for-4, 2R HR, 2 SBs, 2 runs, 2 RBIs; Hendryx 1-for-3, BB, 2B, run; Stenger 0-for-3, FC (Patch BB, run); Kennell 2-for-4, ROE, run, RBI. Pitching (W) McConnell 3 IP, 1 run, 1 hit, 3 BBs, 2 Ks.
Tolono stats: Snodgrass 1-for-4, ROE, BB, FC, run; Crouse 0-for-4, ROE; White 1-for-4, ROE, run; Short 0-for-1, FC, 3 BBs, run; Grace 2-for-3, ROE, 2B, BB, run, RBI; Gadbury 1-for-3, BB, run, 2 RBIs; Spencer 1-for-4, run, RBI; Eisenmeyer 0-for-3, sacf, RBI; Barnard 2-for-3, 2B, sac, run. Pitching (L) Crouse .2 IP, 3 runs, 5 Hits, BB, 0 Ks.