Shadyside crushes Frontier in five

SHADYSIDE — The “second season” opened for most area prep baseball squads Saturday and Shadyside looked like a team poised to make a deep postseason run.

The Tigers received a one-hitter from Collin Holmes and two hits and two RBIs from Kelly Hendershot in blanking Frontier, 10-0, in a five-inning Ohio Division IV sectional opener at Fleming Field.

The game lasted just 1 hour, 15 minutes, but it didn’t take nearly that long for Shadyside to assert itself as the better team. The Tigers (17-5) struck first with two runs in the first, then scored in every inning, capping things with a two-spot in the fifth.

Shadyside, seeded third in the district, will play host to either No. 5 Steubenville Catholic or No. 10 River on Tuesday afternoon at 5 for a sectional title. The Crusaders and Pilots were playing as The Times Leader went to press Saturday.

The Crusaders upset the Tigers in the OVAC 2A semifinals and Shadyside head coach Shawn Selmon said his team would like nothing more than a crack at them again, if they prevail.

“The boys haven’t been the same since that loss,” he said. “Hopefully, they’ll come here and we’ll give them a good game.”

The Tigers did that and more vs. the Cougars, the No. 11 seed. Shadyside was solid in all phases, despite some alterations to its lineup.

“We made some changes due to some injuries,” Selmon noted. “We had almost all of our outfielders as infielders. We switched things up a little, but they played well.”

Shadyside’s outfielders were left out of the equation, though, as all 15 of the outs it recorded were either by strikeout, groundouts or infield pop outs.

Holmes went the distance, fanning five, walking two and working to 17 batters –two above the minimum.

Frontier had three base runners the entire game and one was tagged out at first in the second.

“Collin was due to pitch,” Selmon said. “He’s our ace guy and you want to come out and make a statement. He stepped in and did really well.”

The Tigers’ offense gave their hurler plenty of support.

Mason VanNest and Holmes reached to start the game. Then, Anthony Coggins doubled to left to quickly put the hosts up 2-0.

The Tigers added single runs in the second and third innings before blowing the game open with a four-run fourth that chased Frontier starter Reed McKinney.

Nate Schnegg, batting ninth, doubled to lead off. VanNest followed with a single before Holmes aided his own cause with a two-run double that made the score 6-0. Holmes raced home from third on a passed ball, increasing the lead to 7-0.

With two out, Bryce Amos drove in Hendershot with a single making the score 8-0.

Hendershot ended things in the fifth, belting a two-out hit that knocked in VanNest and Holmes, both of whom scored three times.

“We’ve been hitting well all year,” Selmon said. “We’ve had our games where we didn’t hit well, but (Saturday) was one of those days where we brought the bats.”

Holmes and Coggins both finished with two RBI, while Amos and Schegg each recorded two hits.