They say it’s lonely at the top, but for Joe’s it’s a pizza party, as they still lead the Shelbyville Men’s Slow Pitch Softball League with a perfect 6-0 record.

The league champions the last two years running, and running away at that, Joe’s Pizza swept again last night after breaking open both games in the middle innings for big wins. Joe’s beat Sloan’s Implement in the opener, 14-4, then beat Ridings-Xamis-Crews, 19-7. RXC beat Sloan’s in the nightcap on the strength of a 17-run inning, 18-3.

In the second game against Ridings-Xamis-Crews, Joe’s was up 9-3, when RXC put up a 4-run third, with the help of an Aaron Clark 3-run homer. They closed the gap to 9-7. That put a chip on RXC’s shoulder, but Joe’s promptly knocked it off.

Joe’s put RXC back in their place by opening a can of whoopin’ to remove all doubt of who was the baddest on the block, winning in five innings.

In the first game of the night, Sean Leavitt gave Joe’s a 2-0 lead via long ball and Sean Nichols added a solo shot. Joe’s went two innings without scoring, while Sloan’s got a run in the second off a Jacob Miller lead-off single when he advanced on two fly balls and was then driven in by Derrick Clawson, 3-1 Joe’s.

In the fourth, Rusty Birch reached on an error for Joe’s, then Jeremy Piper launched one deep for two more runs. Craig Saddoris made to third on a couple of errors then Ricky Ginger sent a sac fly deep enough to bring Saddoris home, 6-1 Joe’s.

Sloan’s got a run in the third off some small ball. Miller reached on a fielder’s choice, Josh Mehlberg singled and Brent Welton singled Miller home. 6-2 Joe’s. Joe’s failed to score in the fifth and the expected blowout was bogging down in mediocrity. Then in the sixth, Joe’s Pizza delivered.

Ginger and Nick Allen led off with singles. Kevin Reedy reached on an error, followed by three straight RBI singles by Cliff Hodge, Brannon Boehm and Leavitt. Birch singled, Piper drove in another run with a single. Ginger singled and Allen drove in a run with a single.

All eight runs in the inning were scored by Joe’s (hated for their use of the long ball) without a single home run.

Sloan’s got two runs back to cap the scoring. Trent Welton singled and Brian Carl doubled. Jack Peavler drove Welton in with a single and Clint Hall hit an RBI single.

For Joe’s, Leavitt went 2-for-4 with a home run, two RBI’s and two runs scored. Piper was 3-for-4 with a home run, three RBI’s and two runs scored. Nichols had a solo home run.

For Sloan’s, Miller was 2-for-3 scoring two of the four runs and twins Trent and Brent Welton each scored a run each.

Sloan’s 300 308 0—4

Joe’s 010 102 0—14

Ridings jumped on Joe’s early, taking a 3-0 lead. Travis Ulmer hit a lead-off double, followed by a Shawn Smith inside the park home run after a diving attempt at the ball by Joe’s Rusty Birch. Aaron Clark and Zach Nichols singled and Tony Fox blasted a sac fly to score Clark.

Joe’s responded with fistful off runs off singles and a long ball. Boehm singled, Leavitt walked, then Sean Nichols and Birch singled. Piper played a home runs tune, scoring three more runs to claim a 5-3 lead. In the second, RXC sputtered and Joe’s kept scoring.

Reedy reached on a fielder’s choice, Boehm singled and Leavitt went deep for three runs, his second dinger of the night. Sean Nichols rocketed follow-up solo to make it 9-3 Joe’s.

Joe’s was looking to roll, but RXC summoned a rally in the top of the third.

Ulmer doubled again, then Garret Seaton and Smith reached on errors. Clark then uncorked a 3-run blast to draw RXC within two, 9-7, and give RXC some swagger.

Joe’s couldn’t answer, but the RXC swagger also failed to produce in their next at-bat, allowing Joe’s to perform a swagger-ectomy in their fourth.

Reedy started the rally with a single then Boehm blasted a two-run homer. The Leavitt, Nichols combination hit back-to-back doubles and the war of words began. As the testosterone-laced comments filled the air, Birch reached on an error, Piper hit a 2-run single, followed by RBI singles from Ginger and Reedy, running up the rally total to eight runs.

Joe’s had laid down the gauntlet, leading 17-7, and RXC couldn’t summon up the umpf to answer. After getting sand kicked in their face, RXC went scoreless the rest of the way.

Leavitt and Nichols struck again in the bottom of the fifth. Leavitt singled and Nichols knocked a walk-off, 2-run homer to end the game early.

For Joe’s, Brannon Boehm was 3-for-4, with a 2-run homer and scored two runs. Leavitt was 3-for-3, with a walk, a 3-run homer, and scored four times. Nichols was 4-for-4 with four runs scored, four RBI’s and two home runs, including the walk-off winner.

For RXC, Ulmer was 3-for-3 with two doubles, scoring twice. Clark was 2-for-3 with a 3-run homer and scoring two runs. Smith had an inside the park home run.

RXC 304 00—7

Joe’s 540 82—19

Sloan’s took an early lead in the nightcap, then built it to 3-0. They enjoyed a 3-1 lead until the bottom of the fourth, when RXC put the pedal to the metal and reeled off 17 runs in one at bat.

Brian Carl singled and scored on an error in the Sloan first. In the second Brent Welton doubled and Clawson singled. Welton scored on an error and Trent Welton drove in Clawson for the 3-0 lead. Zach Nichols drew a walk for RXC in the bottom of the second and Shane Myers drove him in, 3-1 Sloan’s.

The third was scoreless for both teams and Sloan’s failed to produce again in the fourth as the doldrums were setting in on both sides of the ball. RXC ended that trend.

Zach Nichols and Tony Fox started the 17-run explosion with singles. Mike Russell, Shane Myers and Tim Miller then smacked three RBI singles in a row. Todd Seaton sac-flied in another run and Shawn Smith doubled in two runs. Ron Atkins reached on an error, then Whit Jiter and Garret singled in runs. Smith drove in another run and Clark doubled in two more.

They still weren’t done, with only one out. Tony Fox went deep for two runs, then Russell reached on an error. With two outs, Miller and Todd Seaton singled and Atkins reached again on an error. Jiter singled in another run to cap the scoring.

RXC sent 21 men to the plate in the fourth, for 17 runs and the final score of 18-3.

For RXC, Nichols was 2-for-2 with a walk, three runs and two RBI’s. Fox was 3-for-3 with three runs and two RBI’s. Myers, Miller, Garret Seaton and Smith were all 2-for-3, with four runs and four RBI’s.

Sloan’s 120 00—3

RXC 010 (17)x—18

Men’s softball is back in action tonight, featuring Reynolds Auto Sales, County Market and KSI Group.

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