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The Shelbyville American Legion Post 37 baseball team's season came to an end Thursday.
Paducah Post 31 blanked Post 37, the defending state champs, 3-0, at the American Legion State Tournament at Campbellsville University to end Shelbyville’s season.
Post 37 had lost, 5-3, to eventual state champ Campbellsville Post 82 last Tuesday in its first game of the double-elimination tournament.
Shelbyville ended its season with a 12-15 record.
“I felt like all year we just never were consistent,” Post 37 Manager Jim Wiley said.
Shelbyville, whose longest winning streak of the season was three games, didn’t achieve a winning percentage of better than .500 until the district tournament.
“We’d beat somebody then we’d turn around and lose one or two,” Wiley said. “We did play some good games, but when it comes down to winning tournaments, you have to be consistent.”
After winning its first two games of the District 4 Tournament, Post 37 lost its final four games – two in the district tourney and two in the state tourney.
Shelbyville’s state tournament began with the loss to Campbellsville in which it outhit Post 82, 7-5, but stranded 20 baserunners against a team it had beaten, 2-1, on July 17.
“We gave up some runs early, but couldn’t get it back,” said Wiley, whose team trailed, 5-1, after 3½frames. “We didn’t hit it that well either.”
Then in its season-ending loss, Post 37 managed only four hits – all singles – against Paducah pitcher Sam Goode. The recent Lone Oak graduate struck out four and walked one in seven innings.
“We gave up three runs in the first inning and never could overcome it,” said Wiley, whose team had lost, 6-5, to Paducah in its second game of the season. “We couldn’t hit the ball. We never could get back-to-back hits.”
Lance Shelton, a recent graduate of Spencer County, absorbed the loss. He gave up three earned runs on three hits while walking two and striking out one in two-thirds of an inning. Recent Collins grad Dan Sanders came on in relief, allowing one hit while walking three and striking out one in four innings.
The loss ended a disappointing season for Shelbyville, which figured to be competitive with several members of last year’s team returning.
“At the beginning of the summer I thought we had the best pitching staff in the state of Kentucky,” Wiley said. “But our top two pitchers never put the uniform on. That really took a toll on us.”
Chris Cervantes, a 2012 graduate of Collins who is coming off his freshman season at Eastern Kentucky University, chose to play in a college summer league in Minnesota and recent Collins graduate and University of Kentucky recruit Austin Perry, who battled tendinitis the second half of the season with the Titans, decided to prepare for his college.
“If I could’ve had either one of those guys in the tournament, we’d still be playing,” Wiley said. “But that’s part of it.”
American Legion State Tournament
At Campbellsville University
Campbellsville 5, Shelbyville 3
Campbellsville 011 300 000 – 5 5 3
Shelbyville 001 200 000 – 3 7 1
L. Thomas, D. McCamish (7), Troy Squires (9) and W. Hogan. Eddie Mathies, Buddy Johnson (4) and Zac Wiley. W – Thomas. L – Mathies. 2B –
Paducah 3, Shelbyville 0
Shelbyville 000 000 0 – 0 4 2
Paducah 300 000 X – 3 5 0
Lance Shelton, Dan Sanders (1), Will McDonald (5) and Wiley. Sam Goode and Bryce Wright. W – Goode. L – Shelton. Record – Shelbyville Post 37 12-15.