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13-year-old all-stars come up just short

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Boys finish second at state tourney

By Todd Martin

Playing in its second game Monday, Shelby County’s 13-year-old Babe Ruth All-Stars nearly made the comeback of the State Tournament in St. Matthews.

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But a 7-2 loss sent South Lexington on to the Regional Tournament in Indiana.

After falling, 13-1, in five innings to South Lexington in the championship game of the winners’ bracket just the day before, Shelby was set to face the reigning champs again in the title game Monday.

Shelby beat Adair County, 7-0, in Monday’s first game, and the title game finally started just after 8:30 p.m.

In a bit of gamesmanship, Shelby County Coach J.R. Wiley won the toss, but elected to hit first, a tactic South Lexington employed in the first match-up.

“I did it for two reasons,” Wiley said. “This way they couldn’t jump out on us really early and get us in the dumps, and hopefully we could get a run or two and got some confidence.”

Wiley’s plan worked perfectly, with Shelby coming out and getting three hits and scoring one run to take the lead on Buddy Johnson’s RBI single.

Lexington tied the score at 1 in the bottom of the inning, but a fired-up Shelby County took the lead right back in the second with an RBI single from Dillon Boone.

Zac Wiley then kept Lexington at bay until the sixth inning.

“Zac pitched the best game I’ve seen him pitch, and it was just on one day’s rest,” Coach Wiley said of his son.

Zac Wiley allowed just four hits through the first five innings and struck out seven in the game.

But South Lexington finally got to him in the sixth, opening up with back-to-back doubles to take the lead. In all Lexington scored five runs on four hits in the inning.

“He just ran out of gas after pitching six innings on Sunday,” Coach Wiley said. “Our guys left it all out there on the field, and it was a total team effort, but we came up short.”

Wiley said his team gained a lot despite the loss, and they rocked a Lexington team that won the Cal Ripken World Series two years ago.

“Those kids knew we weren’t the same team that they beat earlier,” he said. “Their coach came over and talked to our kids after the game and told them what a gritty effort they put out and how impressed he was with them.”

Shelby 7, Adair County 0

To reach the title game Shelby County had to top Adair County for the second time. Johnson threw six innings and had eight strikeouts.

“Buddy pitched an outstanding game,” Coach Wiley said. “He was two and oh in the tournament for us and was just outstanding each time.”

Zac Wiley was 3-for-3 with an RBI single, and Kipp Moore had two hits and three RBIs to lead the way. Boone and Paul Miller each also had two hits.

South Lexington 13, Shelby 1 (5 innings)

Shelby struggled in the first match-up with South Lexington on Sunday.

Miller scored Shelby County’s lone run on a passed ball.

Shelby 7, Adair County 4

Zac Wiley got the win, and Miller picked up the save as Shelby advanced to the championship of the winners’ bracket on Saturday.

Miller also had two hits and Michael Smither had two hits. Kambron Bruner added two RBIs.

Shelby 2, St. Matthews 1

Johnson pitched and won in tournament opener on Thursday, in a game that was delayed a day by rain.

Zac Wiley got the save with a play at the plate on a squeeze play attempt by St. Matthews and two strikeouts to end the game.

Bruner’s RBI double got Shelby started in the first, and Bruner scored on Miller’s single.