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TAYLORSVILLE -- Spencer County threw a major wrench into the 30th District regular season baseball race Thursday night.
Spencer's Alex Sorrells belted a 2-run home run in the bottom of the third inning and that was all the Bears needed to upset Anderson County, 3-1 in Taylorsville.
Anderson only needed to beat Spencer to clinch the all-important top seed in the district tournament but squandered a strong pitching performance from junior lefty Kyle Delong, who yielded three hits over five innings. The Anderson offense, which had put up nine runs on Shelby County two nights before, mustered just two hits off Spencer pitcher Johnny Thacker, who came in when starter Mitchell Guzman's shoulder stiffened after facing just one batter.
“We weren't ready to play mentally,” said Anderson coach L.W. Barnes. “We didn't show up and Spencer came ready to play. They made the plays when they had to.”
The Bearcats fell to 7-5 and 1-1 in district play.
Spencer, now 6-5 on the year, can clinch the district's top seed by winning at Shelby County on Tuesday night. However, if Shelby wins that game, the district race could go into the tie-breaker, which is runs allowed in the district race.
Alves, Hawkins lead Bearcats past Shelby
Jordan Alves belted a 2-out, 2-run home run to ignite a 5-run rally in the bottom of the sixth inning as Anderson County defeated arch-rival Shelby County, 9-4, Tuesday night.
With the score tied at 4, Anderson's Matt Fogle, hitting in the ninth spot, drew a walk on Drew McDonald's 3-2 pitch. Alves followed with his second home run of the season, a no-doubter that easilty cleared the fence in left-center. Anderson added three more runs for some insurance.
“I knew it was gone when I hit it,” Alves said.
Anderson pitcher Luke Hawkins was outstanding after surviving a rocky first ining when Shelby scored three runs. Hawkins went the distance, facing just 20 batters over the final six innings. He struck out 11, walked one and hit a batter. Shelby reached him for six hits, three in the first.
“I was hitting my spots,” the senior said. He also noted that his curve ball kept the Shelby hitters off balance.
Both teams are now 7-4, but Anderson got the all-important win to take control of the 30th District race. Anderson is 1-0 in the district, Shelby 1-1.
For a complete report of the Bearcat games with Spencer County and Shelby County, see the April 22 edition of The Anderson News.