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MECHANICSBURG >> Shippensburg's baseball team didn't play poorly by any means on Monday, but it simply didn't do enough to win.

The Greyhounds mustered just four hits – all by the top three batters in the lineup – and Mechanicsburg made the most of its opportunities against Cordell Shannon in a semifinal game of the Mid Penn Conference baseball tournament.

"We just didn't string any hits together," Ship coach Nate Rosenberry said. "We had one good chance all game, but we couldn't get the big hit. They just executed better than we did."

The Wildcats (19-3) defeated West Perry 2-0 later Monday night to capture the MPC title.

The biggest reason for Shippensburg's troubles at the plate was Mechanicsburg pitcher Jeff Allen. He kept the Greyhounds (15-4) off balance all day with his curveball and changeup, constantly getting ahead and putting them away quickly.

"That's just what Jeff does. He works quick," Mechanicsburg coach Clay McAllister said of a game that took only 1:23. "He pitched backwards for the most part and threw his offspeed stuff for strikes early."

He finished with 10 strikeouts in a complete-game performance, giving up just four hits and one walk. The Hounds' 4-9 hitters combined to go 0-for-15 with all 10 of the punchouts.

"My curveball and changeup were very effective," Allen said. "Plus, my offense got me a lead and that gave me a lot of confidence."

Shannon said, "He threw a lot of offspeed stuff and consistently threw them for strikes. He had a lot of guys guessing. He had a good game; tip the cap to him."

Shannon (5-2) also pitched a strong game for Ship, but the Wildcats capitalized on some control issues early on.

In the first inning, Josh Herring drew a walk, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a single by Hayden Seig. Then in the third, Eric Herb led off with a single, and Herring worked another walk to put runners on first and second with no outs. Allen then laid a bunt down the third-base line, but nobody broke for the ball for Shippensburg and he reached first to load the bases.

Marc Hershey then followed with an RBI single, and Seig hit a sacrifice fly to make it 3-0. The next batter, Matt Cody, hit a tailor-made double play to shortstop Nate Reiner, but the second baseman couldn't handle the throw and another run scored.

Shannon said, "I really didn't have much of a bullpen to throw in before the game, and I just came out a little flat. My arm stayed down, the ball came up and they took advantage."

McAllister said, "We took advantage off all but one of our opportunities. We hit the ball hard for the most part, even when we got out."

Shannon's defense got him into trouble again in the fourth. A pair of one-out errors put two runners on, and a Herring single loaded the bases. But Shannon got Allen to pop up back to the mound, and Hershey hit a line drive to third that Cole Freise snared for the final out.

From there, Shannon looked like his typical self. He retired the final eight batters he faced and finished with four strikeouts.

Shannon, "I just slowed my motion down, kept my weight back and pounded the zone."

McAllister said, "A lot of people talk bad about this tournament, but you won't see me complaining. We played a good team today, and it was better than any practice we could have had. And Shannon is a better pitcher than any batting practice I could throw."

NOTES >> Ship's best chance to score came in the fourth inning ... Daulton Brenize got a one-out single and Shannon followed with a walk, but the next two batters struck out to end the threat ... Brenize finished 2-for-3 for the Greyhounds, and Seig finished 1-for-2 with two RBIs for Mechanicsburg ... The loss will not affect Shippensburg's numbers in the power rankings ... The Greyhounds are currently ranked No. 1 in District 3 Class AAA.

Mechanicsburg 4 Shippensburg 0

ShippensburgMechanicsburgabrhbabrhbFriese 3b3010Herring lf1210Brenize cf3020Allen p2110Shannon p2010Hershy 2b3011Reiner ss3000Seig 1b2012Jacoby c3000Cody 3b3000Frick dh3000Archild cf3010Swartz lf2000Shatzer c2000Watkins 2b2000Bonner dh3000Kitzmllr 1b2000Herb rf3110Hershey rf0000Beatty ss0000Totals23040Totals22463
Shippensburg0000000—0Mechanicsburg103000x—4

E: Ship 3; DP: Ship 1, Mech 1;LOB: Ship 3, Mech 6; SAC: Allen, Shatzer; CS: Archibald.

Shippensburg pitching

Shannon (L, 5-2)654324

Home pitching

WP: Allen.

T: 1:23.

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