NASHVILLE -- Shiloh Christian labored through the first four innings of Saturday's game against Pottsville, but when the Saints finally broke through, there was little the Apaches could do to stop them.
The Saints scored five runs in the fifth inning and pitcher Landon Brown stymie Pottsville for much of the day to pull out an 8-1 victory in the Class 4A state baseball tournament semifinals Saturday at Wilson Park.
"This is a huge accomplishment for these guys ... especially after the way [Pottsville] beat us in our regional championship game," Shiloh Christian Coach Moe Henry said. "Pottsville has a great team, and they do a great job with their pitching staff, which had a lot to do with the slow start we had in this one.
"But I credit our guys for staying patient. Now, we've got a chance to go back and play against the team [Nashville] that left a bad taste in our mouths last year."
Shiloh Christian (23-6) dropped a 4-0 decision to Pottsville last week, but the Saints righted that wrong in the rematch after rallying behind Brown. The University of Arkansas, Fayetteville commit was called for a balk during a shaky third inning but recovered in time to carry the team back to the state title game for the third consecutive season. The senior allowed 4 hits and had 13 strikeouts in 61/3 innings.
"He's a bulldog," Henry said. "He's the type of guy that we feel like if we go out and get a couple of runs behind him, he can hold it down for us. He's truly a competitor, and the team looks at him as a leader."
Greyson Stevens finished with two hits for Pottsville (23-7), which led 1-0 on Rylee Huie's RBI single.
NASHVILLE 11, MALVERN 4
Nashville scored five runs in the fifth inning to erase a 3-1 deficit, then added four more in the sixth to beat Malvern.
Tyler Hanson finished with two hits and Ty Gordon added a home run for the second day in a row for Nashville (29-5), which used two big innings to overcome a slow start and knock off their rivals.
The Scrappers scored five runs on three hits in the decisive fifth, but they got some help from the Leopards. Malvern (26-7) committed four errors in the inning, all of which led to runs. The Leopards also left 11 runners on base, including three in the first inning.
Brandon Scott had three hits and Demias Jimerson added two, including a home run in the sixth, for Malvern. Jimerson took the loss after allowing 6 hits and 4 walks while striking out 6 in 5 innings.
Chris Willard picked up the victory, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits with 7 strikeouts.
Sports on 05/13/2018
Print Headline: Saints start slow, finish strong in win