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SHELBYVILLE – The decision to give Jacob Brown the task of shutting down Shelby County in the 30th District championship game was really not difficult, according to Anderson County baseball coach L.W. Barnes.
“When he's on, he has the nastiest stuff on our staff,” Barnes said.
Suffice it to say that the senior left-hander was on Wednesday night. Brown scattered five hits and struck out a career-high 14 in 6.2 innings as Anderson won its second consecutive 30th District title, 13-4, at the Shelby County Athletic Complex.
Brown issued one walk – intentional at that – and hit a batter. Kyle Delong got the final out.
“My curve ball was working tonight,” Brown said.
Brown's breaking pitch looked as if it was falling off a table at times as the Shelby batters repeatedly swung at air.
Anderson, the district's top seed and designated the home team despite being on the Shelby field, spotted the Rockets a pair of unearned runs in the first inning. The Bearcats got them back and more, chasing Shelby starter Scott Clemmons with four runs and five hits in just a third of an inning. The Bearcats put three more runs up in the second, then put things completely away with a six-spot in the sixth.
Jordan Alves and Jeremy Turpin, the top two spots in the Anderson lineup, both got three hits, while Luke Hawkins ripped a pair of doubles. The attack was strong up and down the lineup as Anderson got hits or RBI out of every spot in the order. The Bearcats also stole seven bases.
“Our pitchers are going to have to do a better job of keeping them off the base paths,” Shelby coach Bart Roettger said about a possible rematch in the Eighth Region tournament. The regional draw will be held on Friday afternoon.
It was significant that Anderson enjoyed the win but did little celebrating when Alves registered the final out. The Bearcats high-fived, but there was no wild celebration after beating their arch-rival. “This was not our goal,” Alves said. “Our goal is to get to Applebee's Park (for the state tournament.) This was just the first step.”
Both teams move on to the Eighth Region tournament, which will also be played at Shelby.
Regional pairings will be posted as soon as they become available. A full report of the 30th District tournament, including stats and more quotes, will appear in the May 27 edition of The Anderson News.
SHELBY CO. 201 010 0 – 4 5 2
ANDERSON CO. 430 006 x – 13 14 3
Clemmons, McDonald (1), Bailey (4), Standafer (7) and Hunter. Brown, DeLong (7) and Fogle. W – Brown L – Clemmons. 2B – Wright (SC), Standafer (SC), Clarkson (SC), Hawkins (AC) 2, Case (AC). Records: Shelby Co. 17-12, Anderson Co. 23-10.