By CHUCK RIDENOUR
Daily Globe Sports Editor
In the first season of pitch count rules, four games in three days can tax a high school staff quickly.
Even a team deep in pitching like Shelby can run out of arms so to speak, considering the red and gray played six times last week.
Although the Whippets had two options remaining for Monday’s non-league matchup with Hillsdale, Tanner Elliott rose to the occasion.
Elliott shut down the Falcons over the final four innings and SHS pushed a run across in the bottom of the eighth inning to claim a 3-2 victory in a battle between teams that lead the leagues they compete in.
“With the new pitch count rules, we were down to two pitchers for today,” said Shelby coach Jon Amicone. “Tanner really dug down deep for his team. He knew we were going to stretch him out and he competed for eight innings.”
Elliott threw exactly 100 pitches in the victory and surrendered seven hits. He retired the last seven batters in a row he faced. The right hander struck out four and walked one.
After surrendering a run in the fourth, Elliott allowed just one hit the rest of the way and that baserunner was quickly erased on a double play.
Shelby, the leader of the Northern Ohio League, hiked its record to 16-3 with its tenth straight victory. Hillsdale, which leads the Wayne County Athletic League, entered as the state’s tenth-rated team in the latest Division IV state poll and their record fell to 12-3.
“A good, quality win for the program. Beating the tenth-ranked team in the state in any division is a good gauge of where your program is,” said Amicone.
The Whippets won the game with an unearned run -- the third of the afternoon for the red and gray.
With two outs in the eighth, Garrett Caudill hit a shot deep into the hole on the right side and the attempt to throw him out squirted into the dugout and advanced him to second.
Brady Hill was ahead 3-0 in the count when the Falcons went ahead and put him on first with the intentional walk.
Davey Hipp drove the first pitch he saw to the left of the second base bag and the shortstop committed an error on the play and the ball rolled into the outfield as Caudill raced home with the winning run.
“Hippie gave his team a chance to win. I know he will always compete. He is a gifted athlete who hates losing. He is my type of guy,” said Amicone. “In the end we caught a break and were able to make the most out of it.”
Deadlocked with the Falcons at 1-1, SHS threatened to score in the fifth and sixth frames. The hosts stranded a runner at third in the fifth and left the bases loaded an inning later when Carter Brooks’ shot down the left field line was caught by the third baseman to quell the threat.
Hillsdale scored one in the top of the first when Garrett Goodwin singled and later came home on a fielders choice by Ethan Elliot.
Shelby answered immediately with the equalizer in the bottom half of the same inning when Brennan Armstrong drew a one-out walk, stole second and went to third on an error before being driven in on a basehit by Hunter Hoffman.
The Falcons added another in the fourth when Elliot singled and later scored on a basehit by Caleb Bretz.
The Whippets responded in the bottom of the fourth when Hoffman reached on a hit and later scored on a single by Caudill.
SHS finished with eight hits, including two each for Armstrong, Hoffman, Elliott and Caudill. Goodwin and Elliott led the visitors with two apiece.
Chase Witmer, the third pitcher utilized by Hillsdale, took the loss with 12/3 innings of work. He allowed one run on one hit with two strikeouts and one walk. Nathaniel Butler started and lasted four innings before yielding to Carsten Betson. They allowed two runs on seven hits with two strikeouts and three walks.
Shelby swings back into the NOL race Tuesday at home against Ontario at Shelby High School.