Shiners win fifth sectional in seven years

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Strong pitching, timely hitting, aggressive baserunning and excellent defense added up to the Rising Sun Shiners winning their sixth Class A Sectional 60 title (fifth in last seven years) on Monday, May 29th at Madison.

What better way to celebrate the Memorial Day holiday and the freedoms we have with a pair of wins on American Legion Post #9 Field at Shawe High School.

Coach Kevin Wirsch’s troops defeated South Decatur 9-4 in the championship game as the sun set on the Cougars.

“South Decatur had some good seniors,” Wirsch said afterwards as the Shiners were not able to avenge a loss to Jac-Cen-Del in the regular season finale which cost them a share of the Ohio River Valley Conference title.

“We knew we were going to hit the ball,” added Wirsch whose Shiners had 14 hits in the final and 33 in three games They ooutscored oppoents 20-9 had had just two errors to 10 by opponents.

Rising Sun opened with a single by senior Bryant Housemyer (2-for-3, 3 runs scored). Jake Bovard singled followed by an RBI single by Brent Turner. Senior Derrick Eldridge drove in a run on a fielders choice. Jakob Sandlin beat out an infield single but the Shiners left a pair of runners in scoring position.

Housemyer delivered a two out double in the second and scored when Bovard (4-for-4, 2 RBIs) made it 3-0.

The Cougars got on the board in the third after a hit batter, error and single by Oakley Billingsley loaded the bases. Hunter Seegers delivered a two run single. Bovard got a strikeout then first baseman Eldridge fielded a bleeder down the line with Turner covering the bag to end the inning.

A bunt turned into a double play in the Shiner fourth but Housemyer reached on an error in right field . Bovard continued to help his cause with his third single. Turner singled to score Housemyer who slipped flying around third. Eldridge’s two RBI double made it 6-2.

A walk and a pair of singles kept the Cougars in the game as they made it a 6-4 game in the fifth.

Bovard singled and scored in the sixth as Turner (3-for-4, 3 RBIs) doubled him home. The team effort of the Shiners continued as Eldridge drove a long fly to center to score Turner for his team high 30 RBIs.. The Shiners made it 9-4 after Sandlin walked and scored on an RBI single by senior Zach Martini.

Bovard went six innings to get the win while junior Turner pitched the seventh, striking out two out of four batters he faced.

The fifth ranked Shiners got on the board early against the third ranked Hauser Jets on Monday morning as they posted a 4-0 win.

Sandlin walked and scored on a single by catcher Matt Martini.

Housemyer singled and stole second (22-for-22 on the season). Bovard put down a bunt single before Turner delivered an RBI sacrifice fly.

Turner was shooting down the Jets but an error and walk put the tying runs in scoring position in the bottom of the sixth, The lanky right-hander picked up his fourth strikeout of the contest to end the threat.

Rising Sun put insurance runs on the board in the top of the seventh. Bush singled and Jimenez reached on an error. Bush’s aggressive running put him on third where he scored on a sacrifice fly by Housemyer. Bovard drove in Jimenez on a hit and run single to close out the scoring.

The Shiner defense came through with third baseman Sandlin making a long off balance throw to send Rising Sun into the championship game.

Turner had 90 pitches with 30 pitches available for the final.

Bovard had a pair of hits while Housemyer, Turner, Bush, Jimenez, Matt Martini and Zach Martini had a hit each.

Hauser had advanced to the semi-finals with a 5-0 win over Oldenburg Academy as Sam Meek and Aaron Mee teamed up for a combined no-hitter.

Meanwhile South Decatur defeated Jac-Cen-Del 5-1 with Billingsley pitching a two hitter. The Cougars scored runs in each of the first two innings on errant plays in right field. Matt Drockelman suffered the loss for JCD.

Rising Sun opened the rain delayed sectional on Saturday with a 7-1 win over the host Shawe Hilltoppers.

Lead off Housemyer set the tone with a bunt single to start the game and scored on the first of two sacrifice flies by Turner.

Sandlin reached on an error and scored on a single by Zach Martini in the second. Martini singled and scored on an RBI double by Bush for a 3-0 lead through four innings.

Turner went four innings allowing a leadoff bunt single before retiring the next 12 batters including five strikeouts.

With new pitch count rules in effect, Bovard came in to pitch the final three innings and allowing Turner to be able to pitch in the semi-final contest with Hauser.

Bovard gave up a single and a pair of walks to load the bases when right fielder Brayden Bush made a sliding catch to stop the Shawe threat in the sixth

A bloop single and two more walks set up Shawe’s Walker Kennett (2-for-4) for an RBI single to end the shutout.

The Shiners got on the board in the seventh as Turner singled and Eldridge and Sandlin delivered back to back RBI doubles. Matt Martini’s single drove in the final Shiner run.

Rising Sun (18-5) advances to the Morristown Regional on Saturday where they will play White River Valley in the first game at 11 a.m. Indianapolis Lutheran (16-7) and Edinburgh (12-11) play in game two.