SHELBYVILLE — Shelbyville's Payton Howell almost tossed a complete game.
The junior starting pitcher was actually just one out away on Tuesday.
Howell still prevailed with the 1-0 victory in a pitcher's duel against Clinton's Mac Hickman.
“It was a pitching duel and the little things were the difference in the game,” Clinton coach John Hickman said.
Howell threw 6 2/3 innings with just one hit and six strikeouts. Hickman lasted six innings with one run, three hits and 11 strikeouts.
Quinn Martz, Tylr Gottfriedt and Gavin Stockdale each had a hit for the Rams.
“Pitching was really good on both sides,” Shelbyville coach Sam Mehl said. “Our defense played really well today. It had kind of been struggling in the early part of the season. The last couple of games, defense has been much better. It was good team baseball today.”
Tuscola 14, Sullivan 4
SULLIVAN — Tuscola's offense eventually found its comfort level.
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The Warriors strung together 12 hits to rally past Sullivan after a slow start.
“We hit some balls hard today and they were able to find a hole,” Tuscola coach Duff Hoel said. “It was nice to see us put something together in two-out situations. We scored twice in the second with two outs, twice in the fourth with two outs and twice in the sixth with two outs.”
Andrew Erickson powered the way offensively and defensively. He posted three hits and two RBIs while earning the win on the rubber by going five innings with two earned runs, two hits and five strikeouts.
Brayden VonLanken also managed two doubles in the game for Tuscola.
“Erickson threw a nice game for us,” Hoel said. “He struggled a bit in the first but once he got acclimated, he shut them down in order in the second through fifth innings."
Charleston 14, Urbana 6
CHARLESTON — Charleston coach Derrick Landrus would’ve preferred to get out of the game against Urbana a little earlier.
His Trojans, up 10-0 after four innings and threatening to call the game early via mercy rule, allowed the visiting Tigers to knock in two runs in the fifth inning to extend the game to a full seven frames.
Landrus’s players didn’t let the sudden swing in momentum bother them much after that. The bottom half of the sixth saw the first four Charleston baserunners reach home, and the Trojans coasted from there.
Dawson Armstrong led Charleston with two hits and four RBIs.
“We kind of blew that 10-0 lead there,” Landrus said. “I really would’ve liked to end it for good right then and there. We had good energy before and after that, but our pitching needs work on those types of situations.”