Yorktown baseballs’ offense stalls early, falls to Shelbyville

The Delta Eagles and Daleville Broncos square off in their semifinal matchup in the Delaware County Baseball Tournament May 14, 2022 in Yorktown, Indiana. The Eagles were victorious over the Broncos 9-2. Kyle Smedley/DN
The Delta Eagles and Daleville Broncos square off in their semifinal matchup in the Delaware County Baseball Tournament May 14, 2022 in Yorktown, Indiana. The Eagles were victorious over the Broncos 9-2. Kyle Smedley/DN

Wednesday evening the Yorktown Tigers (9-7) took the field against the Shelbyville Golden Bears (8-7) in a Hoosier Heritage Conference (HCC) clash. The green and white fell in the first matchup of the two-game season series between these two squads on Tuesday 1-4. 

With few conference games left on the schedule, this was an important series for the Tigers. However, in the end, the Golden Bears swept the season series over the Tigers with an 11-6 victory.

“We’re not where we want to be in the conference,” Yorktown senior catcher Jayce Key said. “Not where we want to be record-wise, but we’ve got to get ready for county and sectionals.”

The Golden Bear bats started out hot putting up two runs right from the jump after putting two runners in scoring position to open the game with a leadoff single, followed by a double.

The Tigers couldn’t respond with offense of their own despite recording three hits through the opening inning. The green and white stranded two runners in scoring position to end the first trailing 2-0.

“It’s been a problem this whole season,” Key said. “We come out flat and we’re definitely the nail more than the hammer and we put ourselves in holes that are hard to come back from.”

The offense for the black and gold did not slow down after the first inning. Consistent contact was being made off of Yorktown starting pitcher, senior Landen Eppard. The Yorktown defense wasn’t helping themselves as a past ball, and an error at third base allowed the Golden Bears to increase their lead to 5-0. 

“I think they were just locked in,” Yorktown head coach PJ Fauquher said. “You’ve got to give the Shelbyville hitters credit. They squared up some balls early and really continued to throughout the game.”

The green and white bats found their foothold in the second inning putting their first points up on the board with an RBI single from junior Luke Diebold. Yorktown had a chance to close the gap more with the bases loaded and two outs but stranded all three runners.

“We have to push those runs across the plate,” Fauquher said. “If we’d done that in the first couple innings, we’re back in the ball game instead of still chasing four or five runs in the final innings.”

With Shelbyville’s offense flowing for much of the game, the green and white defense hadn’t held the Golden Bears to their first scoreless inning until the fourth inning. 

Following the defensive stop from Yorktown, Tigers’ senior catcher Jayce Key stepped up to the plate and hit a rocket over the left field wall for the solo shot. Key was able to notch two homers on the evening.

“My approach is to just step in and hunt for the fastball really,” Key said. 

Midway through the fifth inning, Fauquher decided to make a pitching change after Eppard surrendered his seventh run of the game. Senior Jacob Grim took over on the mound for the Tigers

Even after the pitching change, there was no slowing down the black and golds offense. 

After a one run fifth inning, Shelbyville junior pitcher, Gavyn Fisher knocked in a 3-run RBI double to give the Golden Bears an eight-run advantage.

“As the catcher I need to stay positive,” Key said. “Make sure the pitchers stay up because if I go down they’re going to go down as well. I try to tell them to keep in the zone, but we also expect our guys to make plays so I tell them to let the defense help you and make plays.”

Yorktown seemed dead in the water heading into the bottom of the sixth with such a large deficit to overcome. The Golden Bears made a pitching change in the bottom of the inning and the Tigers took full advantage.

The green and white were able to have their highest-scoring inning driving in four runs to attempt the comeback. Key contributed to that with his second homer hitting a two-run shot.

However, the hole the Tigers put themselves in early proved to be too much to overcome.

“We have to do a better job from the mental approach,” Fauquher said. “From the minute we get to the field, how we do pregame, and even how we take ground balls before innings. That’s just something we just have to have better consistency of effort and our mental approach.”

Yorktown will be on the road in their next contest as they take on Wes-Del on Thursday, May 2. First pitch is set for 5 p.m.

Contact David Moore with comments at david.moore@bsu.edu or on X @gingninj63


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