The Shelbyville Ram baseball team (21-12) earned their way to the Pana 2A Regional Championship Game on Saturday against a Carlinville team that was a juggernaut this season (22-2). Shelby fell behind, had a comeback, but couldn't contain Carlinville.

Carlinville averaged 8.4 runs per game this season and gave up just 3.6 runs per game. The Rams scored 5 on Saturday, but Carlinville scored 13. Only five teams scored 5 or more runs against the Cavaliers this season and two won: Greenville and Auburn won, Roxana, North Mac, and Nokomis lost. The Rams joined that list, scoring 5 runs, but losing.

Carlinville was the #1 seed and the Rams were the #4 seed. Shelby scattered 5 hits among 4 players. Freshman Ethan Clark hit 2-for-2 with 2 walks and an RBI. AJ Stokes, Hunter Reed and Payton Bryant had the solo hits. Four of the five hits came in the 3rd inning rally.

Carlinville had eight batters hit safely, 7 scored and 8 had RBIs. Tucker Hughes led the Cav's hitting 4-for-5 with a double, 3 runs and 4 RBIs. Kyle Dixon went 2-for-4 with a 2-run home run and two runs scored. Dixon also was credited for the win.

Colten Reed (8-2) started for the Rams and was credited with the loss after falling behind 5-0. Shelby rallied in the 3rd and knocked out the Cav starter. Dixon came in and righted the ship. The Ram pitchers, couldn't contain the Cav hitters as they rebuilt the winning 8-run margin.

The Cav starter, Colton DeLong, rang up the first 3 batters he faced. Hughes led off the Cav batting with a double. Reed hit the next batter and KO'd the 3rd.  

The runner on 1st was caught off 1st and the Ram catcher tried to pick him off against a strong wind with a runner on 2nd. But the runner broke for 2nd. He would have been thrown out at 2nd, but the 1st baseman threw to 3rd, as the lead runner broke for 3rd. He was safe at 3rd and the other runner made it 2nd.

A ground ball to Ruot, 2nd to 1st made the 2nd out, but the runner on 3rd scored, 1-0. Reed KO'd the next batter.

Ethan Clark led off the Ram 2nd with a walk. Mason Miller ran for Clark. Reed struck out. AJ Stokes hit a long fly ball to right center. the base runner went half way. The ball was caught and the runner for some reason rounded 2nd and was headed for 3rd. He was doubled up. After two or three mental errors, the Rams were still down, 1-0.   

Reed walked the first Cav in the 2nd and he went to 2nd on a wild pitch. The next batter singled the run home. The following batter bunted and the catcher tried to make the long throw to 2nd for the force out. He was safe, as well as the runner at 1st. 

The next batter bunted and was out on a good play by 1st baseman Clark to 2nd baseman Ruot at 1st. Hughes singled in two runs. Reed threw a strikeout, but another single made it 5-0. Malcolm Miller came in to pitch and he got the next batter to ground out on a shortstop unassisted scoop by Beck and step on 2nd for the force.

Shelby was in a hole, but the bottom of the order came through. Hunter Reed singled and went to 2nd on a wild pitch. Noah Trimble walked. Leo Logue came in to run. Payton Bryant bunted and was safe. The bases were loaded with no outs.

A strikeout was followed by walking Rece Pullen and forcing in a run, 5-1. beck walked and forced in another run, 5-2. Dixon came in to pitch for Carlinville.

Clark singled to right and drove in 2 runs, 5-4. Colten Reed hit a fly ball to left and the catch was made running in, but Beck did not try to tag. Stokes singled and Beck scored for the tie, 5-5. The Rams batted around, but struck out. 

It was a new ball game, but not for long.Miller threw a K, but then a walk. Ruot made a play on a grounder for the 2nd out. A walk and a double opened the flood gates, as Carlinville reclaimed the lead, 6-5. Hughes singled in two more runs, 8-5.

Dixon hit a home run off the top of the fence and back into the field of play. Play continued, but he still out-ran the ball for an in-the-park home run, 10-5. Hunter Reed came in to pitch and got the ground out, 2nd to 1st.

Trimble and Pullen walked in the Ram 4th, but were left on. A lead-off single in the Cav 4th and a 1-out single, made it 11-5. A fielder's choice failed and they had runners at the corners wit one out. A single drove in a run, 12-5.

Parker Dixon came in to pitch for Shelby with one out and a man on, trailing 12-5. It was Dixon v. Dixon on the mound. He got the next man to pop up to Beck at short and then threw a K.

Clark singled again to lead off the Ram 5th. The next three batters struck out. The last was tagged on a dropped 3rd strike.

Carlinville capped the score in the 5th. Kyle Dixon led off with a single past the glove of the 3rd baseman. Bfryant caught a line out in center field. Dixon hit a batter. After a double steal, the lead runner scored on a catcher error to cap the score, 13-5. Parker Dixon threw consecutive Ks.

 Malcom Miller got a 2-out walk in the Ram 6th, but was left on base. Shelby gave up a walk and a single in the Cav 6th, but didn't score. 

Shelby shook things up in the 7th, but couldn't capitalize. Clark walked with one out. Stokes reached on an error with 2 outs. Hunter Reed walked to load the bases. The next batter hit a high pop out almost out of play behind 1st. It was caught for the game.

Saturday

Carlinville 13, Shelbyville 5

S'ville 005 000 0--5-5-1

C'ville 145 210 x--13-12-2

Ram stats: Miller 0-for-3; Pullen 0-for-2, 2 BBs, run, RBI; beck 0-for-3, BB, run, RBI; Clark 2-for-2, 2 BBs, RBI; C Reed 0-for-4; AJ Stokes 1-for-4, ROE, RBI; H Reed 1-for-3, BB, run; Trimble 2 BBs (Ruot 0-for-1)(Logue run); Dixon 0-for-1; Bryant 1-for-3, run. Pitching (L) Reed 1.6 IP, 5 runs, 4 hits, BB, 3 Ks; Miller 1 IP, 5 runs, 3 hits, 2 BBs, K; H Reed .6 IP, 2 runs, 3 hits, 0 BB, 0 Ks; Dixon 2.6 IP, 1 run, 2 hits, BB, 3 Ks.

Cav stats: Hughes 4-for-5, 3 runs, 4 RBIs; Dixon 2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs; Ambuel 1-for-4, RBI; DeLong 1-for-3, run, RBI; Griffith 0-for-4; Rosentreter 1-for-2, 2 BBs, 3 runs, RBI; Tiburzi 1-for-3, BB, run, RBI; Tieman 1-for-3, BB, 2 runs, RBI; Naugle 1-for-3, run, RBI. Pitching (W) Dixon 3.6 IP, 0 runs, 3 hits, 3 BB, 8 Ks; (Starter) DeLong 2.3 IP, 5 runs, 2 hits, BBs, 5 Ks; Hughes 1 IP, 0 runs, 0 hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks. 

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