It’s Shelby vs. Randolph County in the winner’s bracket showdown in the American Legion Southeast Regional Tournament at Shelby High’s Keeter Stadium at Veterans Field.
We’ve got beautiful weather, a huge crowd and two good teams going at it. A reminder: Sunday’s games will be at 1 & 5 p.m.
Randolph County: Cameron Cockman (SS), Josh Hohn (C), William Ridge (3B), Steven Davis (LF), Ethan Marsh (CF), Tyler McSwain (P), Austin Moyer (1B), Bradley Holland (RF), Jessie Seawell (2B).
Shelby: Seth Canipe (P), Brett Wease (SS), Kyle Kendrick (C), Adam McFarland (3B), Julian Ridings (RF), James Gold (1B), Eric Shuford (LF), Corey Cline (2B), Jordan Robinson (CF).
Seth Canipe is on the mound for Shelby. His ejection late in Friday’s second-round game with Tuscaloosa, Ala., carried no extra penalty.
Canipe allows a hit but keeps Randolph County Post 45 scoreless in the top of the first.
Bottom of first: Canipe is hit by pitch leading off and Brett Wease bunts him down to second. Canipe moves to third on Kyle Kendrick’s groundout to the right side. Randolph commits error on Adam McFarland’s grounder to short, allowing Canipe to score the first run of the game. Inning ends, Shelby up 1-0.
Randolph County unable to mount a threat in the bottom of the inning.
Score stays: Shelby Post 82 1, Randolph County 0.
After one out, Post 82 stages a rally in the bottom of the second inning. Consecutive singles by Eric Shuford, Corey Cline and Jordan Robinson bring in a run, making it 2-0. Brett Wease slaps a two-out double past the first baseman down into right field corner, sending Cline and Robinson across to make it 4-0. That’s the way it stays as the side is retired.
Randolph loads the bases in the third on a single, hit batsmen and walk. With two outs, Ethan Marsh — the MVP of the state tournament in Gastonia — is at the plate. The rising sophomore from Pfeiffer flies out to Julian Ridings to leave the runners stranded. Score stays: Shelby 4, Randolph 0.
Shelby gets a runner aboard in the third but a fine play by Randolph third baseman Hunter Ridge retires the side. Score is still 4-0.
Randolph comes alive in the top of the fourth. A pair of walks and a sacrifice bunt puts runners on second and third with one out. Nolan Seawell for Post 45 hits one deep to left, but Shelby’s Eric Shuford makes the catch up against the wall. One run comes in on the sacrifice fly. Cameron Cockman then singles to right to bring in the second run before Canipe retires the side. Score: Shelby 4, Randolph 2.
Jordan Robinson singles and steals second for Shelby in the bottom of the fourth but Brett Wease’s hard liner to center was caught Randolph’s Ethan Marsh to retire the side. The score is still Shelby 4, Randolph 2.
Jordan Robinson takes over on the mound for Post 82 in the top of the fifth inning.
With one swing, the entire complexion changed. With two out and two aboard, Randolph first baseman Austin Moyer smashes a three-run home run deep into the trees in right-center field to give Post 45 a 5-4 lead.
In the bottom of the fifth, Shelby ties it. Adam McFarland doubles then scores on James Gold’s single to left. After 5 complete innings: score is tied at 5-5.
In the top of the sixth, Randolph scratches a run out on two infield singles and a RBI hit to left by Hunter Ridge. Randolph 6, Shelby 5.
And now for a special announcement: Tonight’s attendance is 4,671. For the day the figure stands at 7,051. The three-day total for the tournament is 18,408.
Back to the action — Shelby gets a runner to second in the bottom of the sixth but he’s left stranded. Score remains: Randolph 6, Shelby 5.
Post 82′s Robinson strikes out the side in the top of the seventh. It’s still 6-5.
As the old Batman TV show goes “Biff, Boom, Pow!” A leadoff single by Kyle Kendrick is followed by a line-drive home run over the right-centerfield wall by Shelby’s Adam McFarland, putting Post 82 ahead 7-6 in the bottom of the seventh. Eric Shuford lines into a double play to end the inning. With seven innings in the book, Post 82′s on top, 7-6.
Randolph gets leadoff runner aboard in eighth and bunts him to second. Groundout to right side puts runner at third with two out and Josh Hohn at bat for Post 45. Hohn drives Shelby rightfielder Julian Ridings back to the wall but he leaps and makes the catch to end the inning. Shelby still ahead, 7-6.
Shelby goes quietly in bottom of eighth. Post 82 head coach Mike Grayson makes the move to bring in his closer, Eric Shuford, to pitch the ninth.
Hunter Ridge beats out an infield single to open the ninth, then Ridge steals second. Randolph’s Steven Davis fans for the first out. Shuford fans Ethan Marsh for second out, bringing Travis McSwain to the plate for Randolph.
McSwain grounds to Wease at short, James Gold digs out the throw for the final out. Shelby wins, 7-6, as fireworks show erupts above Keeter Stadium at Veterans Field.
Final stats: Shelby 7 runs, 9 hits, made 1 error
Randolph 6 runs, 10 hits, 4 errors
WP – Jordan Robinson. LP – Travis McSwain.
Save — Eric Shuford.
HR — Adam McFarland (Sh), Austin Moyer (Randolph)