SHELBYVILLE, IL. — Shelbyville Moulton (16-2), the #1 seed in the Sullivan Regional, couldn't figure out the LSA pitcher and went scoreless the first four innings. They finally knotted the game and Payton Howell tipped the scales for a 6-2 semifinal win.
LSA picked up two unearned runs in the first three innings and Shelby, for the most part, was popping out or getting rung up by curve balls once they faced a 3rd strike pitch.
The Rams were still facing a 2-0 deficit in the 5th and an early departure from the postseason. Daythan Summers got four straight balls from Carter and stole 2nd. Carter KO'd the next two guys and it looked like another scoreless inning for the Rams.
Mason Cameron drew a walk on 3-1. Summers went to 3rd on a wild pitch and Cameron stole 2nd. Instead of popping up, Quinn Martz hit a ground ball and put pressure on the LSA fielder to make a play. The fielder bobbled the ball and Martz' speed beat the throw.
Summers scored and the throw went free. The speedy Cameron scored all the way from 2nd and tied the game, 2-2.
Carter opened the 6th with a laser double over the left fielder's head. Ram coach Sam Mehl brought Howell in from 3rd to pitch with yet another run in scoring position and no one out.
Howell threw three pitches for a strike out. He KO'd the next batter on four pitches. The following batter hit a 3-2 pitch back to Howell and he threw the batter out. Carter never moved from 2nd.
Howell led off the Ram 6th. He crushed the first pitch past the left fielder like a frozen rope and to the fence. Howell was held up at 2nd.
Tyler Gottfriedt laid down a perfect bunt. The pitcher couldn't get Howell going to 3rd and went to throw to 1st. The 1st baseman had charged and no one was at 1st. Everybody was safe.