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BASEBALL: Shippensburg takes down Greencastle-Antrim, 2-1, in 8 innings

GREENCASTLE >> It's hard to decide which baseball team played better on Friday afternoon.

Shippensburg and Greencastle-Antrim both had a lot to play for in the Mid Penn Colonial Division game, and they looked liked it. The teams both got fine pitching performances from their starters and closers, both had a few timely hits and both excelled defensively.

But it was the Greyhounds who came on top, stealing a 2-1 victory in eight innings of play.

"When it came down to it, this was a very well-played game between two really good teams," Blue Devil coach Eric Shaner said. "To me, the difference was, they made a few more plays than we did this time."

After Shippensburg (12-3, 7-1 MPC) tied it up with a single in the top of the sixth, the Blue Devils (9-6, 5-3 MPC) had a chance to take a lead but left courtesy runner Matthew Christman stranded at third.

And when it went into extra innings, the Greyhounds pounced on their chance. With one out, Cole Friese drew a walk, and Daulton Brenize followed with a single.

On the first pitch to Cordell Shannon, Friese took matters into his own hands. He went to steal third but found himself in a rundown. After three throws, Friese ducked under an attempted tag and slid into third base.

"It was definitely a weird play and something we hope not to see too often," Ship coach Nate Rosenberry said. "He kind of dove down on the ground to get underneath the tag, so it was a heads up play on his part, but we also got lucky."

It paid off, though. Nate Reiner smacked a sacrifice fly to centerfield to drive in Friese for the winning run.

"The last time we faced them, they threw a lot of curveballs," Reiner said. "That last at-bat, I was really just focused on staying back on the ball, driving it the other way, and it worked out for me."

Greencastle struck first on an RBI single from Derek Measell in the fourth inning, but it had several other opportunities.

The first came in the second inning. With one out, Bailey Parker and Austin Branchman notched back-to-back singles and both got into scoring position on a groundout by Measell, but they were left stranded.

In the fifth inning, Shawn Keller led off with a single, and Dillon Morgan followed with a bunt single. Myles Gayman then smacked a one-hopper that Reiner made a great diving stop on before turning a double play.

"We had numerous chances," Parker said. "The play their shortstop made when Myles hit that rocket to him, that was a great play. If that gets through, we score one run, and who knows what happens after that? If we get that out at third (against Friese), that sac fly is the third out and we come out still tied."

But there was a big reason the Blue Devils couldn't get going later in the game.

"Cordell (Shannon) was just overpowering," Shaner said. "He just flat-out overpowered us."

Shannon took over on the mound for Ship in the sixth inning. Although he walked two and hit one, he struck out five and didn't allow any hits or runs.

"Right away when I got ahead and I could tell the batters were late, I wasn't gonna change it up," Shannon said. "I just stuck with (my fastball). That last hitter (Branchman, who fouled off four pitches), Nick (Jacoby) was calling two for a curveball, but I knew if I just pounded the strike zone with a fastball, I'd get him out."

Shannon had stout competition for the best pitching performance on the day.

Although Measell took the loss for the Blue Devils, he threw a splendid game. In 7 1/3 innings of work, Measell allowed just five hits and three walks while fanning 10 batters. He caught six Greyhounds looking for strikeouts.

"He was unreal; he was absolutely ace-like tonight," Shaner said. "He was pitch-efficient, he kept attacking, and he didn't give up very many hits. Shippensburg's speed is something that causes problems, but I thought Derek was unbelievable. There's nothing about his outing that I would change."

NOTES >> Greencastle mustered seven hits, compared to just five for Ship ... Parker and Morgan each had a pair of singles for the Blue Devils, while Shannon finished 2-for-3 for the Hounds ... G-A committed just one error and made up for it when Quin Ambeault picked off the runner at second; Ship played flawless defense ... The Greyhounds now have a two-game lead on the division, with a pair of league games to go.

Shippensburg 2 Greencastle 1 (8)

ShippensburgGreencastleabrhbabrhbFriese 3b3210Gayman 2b4000Brenize cf4010Hansen cf3000Shannon 1b3020Ambault c3000Zeigler cr0000Chrtmn cr0000Reiner ss2012Kline ss2000Jacoby c4000Parker lf4120Kitzmllr dh3000Brchmn 3b3010Auman p0000Measell p3011Swartz lf3000Keller dh2010Watkins 2b3000Meyers 1b0000Hershey rf3000Morgan rf2020Byers ph10 0 0Totals28252Totals27171

E: GA 1; DP: Ship 1; LOB: Ship 6, GA 8; SAC: Kline; SF: Reiner; SB: Shannon, Friese, Brenize, Hansen, Parker; CS: Hershey, Morgan, Measell.

Shippensburg pitching

Auman571102Shannon (W,4-1)300025

Greencastle pitching

Measell (L,5-1)7.152238Kline0.200000Auman pitched to 1 batter in the 6th.

HBP: by Measell (Reiner), by Auman (Ambeault), by Shannon (Keller); PB: GA 1.

T: 2:14.