John Curtis Daily Union Sports Editor
Shelbyville Daily Union
---- — Shelbyville (12-1, 3-0 OVC) pounded their way past Clinton on Monday for the second time this season, striking early, then pulling away for an 8-1 victory.
The Rams smacked 12 hits, including four of them in the 1st inning. The biggest hit came in the 6th, when Luke McConnell blasted a 3-run home run. The Rams had four batters with multiple hits, led by Eli Miller. Miller was 3-for-3 with two runs, a walk and an RBI double. Luke Hatfield was 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI-single. Neil Yockey was 2-for-3 with a run and McConnell was 2-for-4, scoring twice and driving in three.
Andrew Hawkins won his sixth game of the year in seven decisions, striking out eight batters in seven innings, while walking just one and only giving up three hits. The only run he gave up came off an error and an RBI single.
Clinton led off the 1st with a single and sacrificed the runner to 2nd. But Jake Keown threw out the next batter, 2nd to 1st and Hawkins rang up the following man to end the threat.
Shelby jumped on Clinton's starter out of the gate. Eli Miller led off the Ram 1st with a single. With one out, Luke Hatfield stroked an RBI-single and advanced to 2nd. Nate Standerfer got the third hit in four batters, an RBI-single, scoring Hatfield.
Close calls on the base paths was the only thing keeping the Rams from blowing Clinton out early. Andrew Hawkins reached on an error and Standerfer had a shot at making 3rd base, but was called out. Tyler Hendryx came in to run for Hawkins. Neil Yockey hit a single to right, but a great throw from the fielder beat Hendryx trying to score. It looked like Hendryx got in under the tag, but he was called out, 2-0 Rams.
Hawkins retired Clinton in the 2nd, striking out two and catching a pop up, while giving up one single.
Shelby had the bases loaded in the 2nd, but couldn't get them home. Garrett Manship led off with a double. Two strikeouts were followed by a Miller walk and Keown being hit by a pitch. A strikeout short-circuited the rally.
The Rams gave up an error in the 3rd, but Hawkins rang up two more batters (at the top of the order) and Yockey threw out the other batter, short to 1st. Yockey singled in the Ram 3rd and Manship walked, but they were both stranded by Clinton fielding plays.
Shelby retired Clinton in order in the 4th. Hawkins rang up the first batter. After a walk, a ball was hit back to the mound and Hawkins started a 1-6-3 double play, throwing to Yockey to get the lead runner and Yockey making the turn and throwing to Standerfer to getting the batter.
The Rams added to their lead in the 4th. With one out, Miller singled and Keown was hit again by a pitch. Hatfield singled to load the bases and Standerfer put the ball in play. It was booted by the 3rd baseman and two runs scored, 4-0.
The Rams retired Clinton in the 5th in order again. Hawkins KO'd the first batter, while Keown and Yockey threw out the next two batters.
Shelby added another run in the 5th, with two outs. McConnell singled and Brett Peifer singled. That brought up the top of the order and Miller hit an RBI-single, the third consecutive hit. Keown was hit by another pitch, the third in a row. With the bases loaded, a fielder's choice cut the 2-out rally short, 5-0 Rams.
Clinton finally got on the board in the 6th, thanks to a 1-out error, a ground out that moved the runner and a single. The Rams answered times three in the 5th.
Again with two outs, the Rams got it going. Yockey walked and stole 2nd. Manship walked and stole 2nd. With two men on, McConnell hit an 0-2 pitch over the fence for a 3-run homer, 8-1 Rams.
Faced with a daunting task in the top of 7th, Clinton was not up to it. Hawkins threw out the first batter on a comebacker to the mound. Hawkins struck out the next batter on a 3-2 pitch. The last batter lifted a ball into center field and Miller squeezed it for the final out.
Shelbyville 8, Clinton 1
Clinton 000 001 0--1-3-2
Shelby 200 213 x--8-12-2
Ram stats: Miller 3-for-3, 2B, BB, 2 runs, RBI; Keown 0-for-1, 3 BBs, run; Hatfield 2-for-4, FC, run, RBI; Standerfer 1-for-4, ROE, RBI; Hawkins 0-for-4, ROE, FC; Yockey 2-for-3, BB, SB, run; Manship 1-for-2, 2B, 2 BBs, SB, run; McConnell 2-for-4, 3R HR, 2 runs, 3 RBIs; Peifer 0-for-2; (Eloe 1-for-2). Pitching (W) Hawkins (6-1) 7 IP, 1 runs, 3 hits, 1 BB, 8 Ks.
Clinton stats: Sprague 1-for-3; Osgood 0-for-2, sac, ROE, run; A. Merrick 0-for-3; Reeves 0-for-2 (#5 1-for-1, RBI); J. Merrick 0-for-3, FC; Evans 0-for-3; Polen 1-for-3; Morris 0-for-3; Dial 0-for-2, ROE. Pitching (L) Reeves 5 2/3 IP, 8 runs, 12 hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks.