Shelbyville baseball (21-3, 10-1 Okaw) claimed the undisputed Okaw Valley Conference Championship on Saturday with a win over Tolono, 15-9. Shelby walloped Warrensburg on Friday and put themselves one win away from clinching the title with an 11-0 victory.
The Rams had a track meet in the morning, played Teutopolis at noon, then put their title shot on the line against Tolono in the afternoon. Dual sport athletes helped the track team early in the day, then reported top the diamond to get a look at Teutopolis, a possible sectional rival. The Rams measured T'town, while losing 10-2, in the non-conference match-up.
Then came the title shot against Tolono. Shelbyville played at home, but was the visiting team and they visited violence on Tolono in the early innings.
After Miller and Keown were walked to start the game, Hatfield singled in a run. Standerfer walked. Yockey reached on a fielder's choice, driving in a run. Hawkins hit an RBI-single and stole 2nd. McConnell grounded out, but drove in another run, 4-0.
In the 2nd, Miller walked again and Keown was hit by a pitch. Hatfield and Standerfer had back-to-back singles, sending Miller home. Keown scored on an error by the catcher, 6-0. Meanwhile, Eli Miller struck three batters in the 1st and two in the 2nd.
In the 3rd, the Rams broke out. With one out, Manship walked and Caleb Eloe singled. Miller moved the runners into scoring position on a 3-unassisted out. Keown was hit by a pitch for the 2nd inning in a row, loading the bases for the Ram home run hitter.
With the bases jammed and three grand slams already to his credit this season, "Hammering" Hatfield drove a 1-1 pitch to the deepest part of centerfield and over the fence for his fourth grand slam of the year, his 11th home run of the year and the 37th round trip of his career.