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Ashland 11, Shelbyville 8
Shelbyville was unable to get enough hits to make up for sloppy defense, losing, 11-8, to Ashland in the first round of the American Legion State Tournament at Clear Creek Park on Thursday night.
Post 37 will face Lyon County at 10 a.m. Friday in the loser's bracket. The tournament is double elimination.
Ashland's defense wasn't all that pretty, either. But it didn't faulter for as long as Shelbyville's, and relief pitcher Brandon Boyd kept his pitches under control for most of the eight innings he pitched. His breaking ball was particularly tough for Shelbyville get a grip on.
Shelbyville saw its 2-0 lead disappear in the bottom of the second inning as Ashland went up 6-2 on four hits and three errors. The host team started clawing back in the third, scoring two runs. Then in the fourth inning, Shelbyville took a brief lead when Ashland committed four errors. Shelbyville was up 7-6 until the bottom of the fifth.
Ashland tied the game on another Shelbyville error, then proceeded to find the gaps in the outfield and take an 11-7 lead as starting pitcher Eric Cornett was relieved by Troy Spaulding.
Shelbyville's defense cleaned up through the eighth inning but it was too little, too late. Spaulding started his team's last offensive surge with a single in the top of the eighth. A couple batters later, James Wright flew out to right field but scored Spaulding to bring Shelbyville within three runs.
Ashland advances to play Metcalfe County in the winner's bracket at 5 p.m. Friday. Boyd finished with four strikeouts. Cornett had three strikeouts and Spaulding had two. Shelbyville was led by Wright, who had three RBIs, and Joe Joe Simms, who had an RBI double.