FORTVILLE — Ethan Larrison and Chase McColley went the distance – and then some – to sweep Mt. Vernon on Friday and keep Shelbyville tied for the Hoosier Heritage Conference baseball lead.
In the HHC doubleheader opener at Fortville, Larrison, a senior Shelbyville right-hander, threw 131 pitches over seven innings to lead the Golden Bears to a 10-6 win.
In Game 2, fellow senior righty McColley notched 139 pitches and 15 strikeouts through nine innings to keep the Golden Bears around in a 4-3, 10-inning victory.
The dual wins put Shelbyville at 10-1 overall and 5-1 in the HHC, the same conference mark as Greenfield-Central. All other teams in the HHC have at least four conference losses. Assuming they stay healthy, Larrison and McColley will lead the Golden Bears into Greenfield for a possible HHC title-deciding doubleheader on May 16.
“They mixed it up really well,” MV coach Scott Johnson said of Larrison and McColley. “They’re really good. They threw great. No secret, they kept us off balance. And when a pitcher keeps guys off balance, they’re going to be successful.”
In Game 1, Shelbyville jumped out to a 4-0 first-inning lead and went ahead 8-2 through four.
The nightcap, however, was Mt. Vernon’s to lose, despite McColley’s efficiency.
With help from a pair of RBIs from Joey Turner and effective pitching of their own from starter James Stricker and reliever Kennedy Parker, the Marauders (6-8, 3-5 HHC) had a 3-1 advantage heading into the bottom of the seventh and final regulation inning.
The Golden Bears’ offense – with only four hits through the six first frames – tallied three hits for two runs in the bottom of the seventh to send the game into extra innings. In the bottom of the 10th, Conner Hasecuster’s sacrifice fly delivered Adam Eads with the winning run.
To start the 10th inning, Austin Peugh became the Golden Bears’ third pitcher of the night and struck out the side in relief of McColley, giving the visiting pitchers 18 strikeouts in Game 2.
“I thought the guys worked hard, I thought they played hard, I thought they deserved better than what they got,” Johnson said. “James threw really well. KP threw really well. You can’t fault them. We had some walks we shouldn’t have had, but they pitched well enough to win.
“We just didn’t score enough runs and our defense was not good when we needed it to be good.”
The Marauders had an error in each of the crucial seventh and 10th innings.
Turner totaled four RBI – two in each game – with two doubles. Tyler Langdon had two RBI in Game 1. Also in the opener, Zach Norman scored twice and knocked a double.
With five losses, the Marauders are a long shot to contend for a conference title. They’ll host Guerin on Monday, visit Lawrence Central on Wednesday and return to HHC action next Friday in a doubleheader at Pendleton Heights (9-5, 2-4 HHC), which is also a common sectional foe.
“I still think we’re a good ballclub,” Johnson said. “I still think that if we can start to peak at the right time this will be a team to contend with in the postseason.”
Shelbyville 10, Mt. Vernon 6
SCORE BY INNINGS R H E
SH 401 310 1 — 10 12 0
MV 000 211 2 — 6 6 3
WP: Larrison (3-0). LP: Spears (1-2).
SH: Kuhn, 3 runs; Phelps 3-for-4, 3 runs, 2 RBI, 2B; M. Mathies, 3-for-5, 2 2B, 4 RBI; Larrison, 7 IP, 6 ER, 7 K, 6 BB, 6 H.
MV: Langdon, 2-for-4, 2 RBI; Turner, 2 RBI, 2B; Norman, 2 runs, 2B.
Shelbyville 4, Mt. Vernon 3
SCORE BY INNINGS R H E
MV (6-8, 3-5 HHC) 101 010 000 0 — 3 6 4
SH (10-1, 5-1 HHC) 010 000 200 1 — 4 10 3
WP: Peugh (1-1). LP: Parker (0-1).
MV: Turner, 2B, 2 RBI; Powell, 2 runs; Stricker, 4.2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 K; Parker, 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 3 K, 2 BB.
SH: Phelps, 2-for-4, RBI, 1 run; Hasecuster, GW sac fly; McColley, 9 IP, 15 K, 6 H, 3 BB, 1 ER.