Harry C. Shope wins Del Rice League

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Jason Woods stands in at the plate for SOMC.

David Bentley pitches for SOMC.

Justin Craft pitches for Harry C. Shope.

Desco’s Michael Gleason collects one of the two base hits for the squad during its title bout against Harry C. Shope.

Harry C. Shope team members Josh Wright, Matt Craft, Shawn Milligan, Roger Hall, Garret Rawlins, Lonnie Craft, Mike Mershon, Justin Craft, and Logan Crabtree stand together following Shope’s title game victory on Saturday, Aug. 26.

Over the course of its history, the Del Rice League has usually provided exciting contests that are remembered by all who participate.

That factoid proved to be no different last weekend as the Del Rice League put together two well-played affairs, with Desco defeating SOMC, 11-6 in eight innings, to advance to the championship game and Harry C. Shope defeating Desco in the said title bout by a 10-0 count in five innings to recapture the Del Rice League title last Saturday.

Game 1 — Desco 11, SOMC 6 (F/8)

In the opening affair, SOMC immediately showed that it wasn’t going to be intimidated by a strong and powerful Desco lineup as SOMC put up two runs in the opening frame on an error that scored Justin Scott and David Bentley.

However, it didn’t take long for the high-powered Desco offense to strike. After initially falling behind, Desco used its plate discipline to drive in four runs in the third inning of action as Drew Nickle’s single, a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch, another RBI single by Notre Dame’s CJ Corns, and a wild pitch allowed Desco to take a 4-2 lead over SOMC.

The following pair of innings, however, truly showed just how competitive the contest actually was. Even though an error and a wild pitch allowed three SOMC runs to score in the fourth inning, Desco showed that it wasn’t phased as Northwest’s Cody Wiltshire and Russell Webster responded with RBI singles to put Desco up by a 6-5 count.

But once again, however, SOMC had the answer. With Desco seemingly on its way to the championship affair, SOMC’s Curtis Parker changed all of that with one swing by launching a solo home run over the right field fence to send the heated affair to extra frames.

The lone extra frame that was played, however, would prove to go Desco’s way as Webster’s RBI double to right, along with a two RBI base knock from Dicky Webb and clutch RBI singles from Nickle and Rex Collins, Jr. proved to be all that was needed during the affair.

For the contest, Nickle led the way by going 3-for-5 with three RBI, a walk, a stolen base, and two runs scored while Webster co-starred by collecting a double and driving in three runs behind his 2-for-3 performance. Collins, Jr., Corns, and Webb each went 2-for-4 on the day, with Webb and Corns driving in two runs and scoring one apiece and Collins, Jr. adding an RBI and a run scored on the day, while Wiltshire went 2-for-2 with two walks, two runs scored, and an RBI to add to a fantastic performance at the dish for Desco. Bob Bryson, who scored three runs and walked once, and Michael Gleason, who scored a run, each added a hit on the day.

SOMC, who grinded out its six runs on five hits, was led by Jon Bowling and Justin Scott, who each collected a hit. Bowling stole two bases, walked once, and scored once, while Scott walked and scored twice while stealing a base. Parker added his home run, an RBI, and a run scored in his 1-for-2 effort, while David Bentley went 1-for-2 with two walks and a run scored. Jason Armes added a 1-for-4 day at the dish to close out the SOMC offensive attack.

Del Rice League Championship Game — Harry C. Shope 10, Desco 0 (F/5)

During last Saturday’s championship affair, Harry C. Shope was never truly tested as Shope’s Justin Craft and Josh Wright collected three hits and three RBI apiece en route to defeating Desco, 10-0, to reclaim the Del Rice League title.

Craft, who collected a splendid game on his own at the dish, proved to be even better on the mound as Craft struck out 10 players, walked only one, and gave up just two hits en route to the complete game victory. Gleason and Webb were the only players to collect hits for Desco during the contest.

In addition to Wright and Craft — the latter also adding a trio of runs during the contest — Shawn Milligan added two hits and an RBI, while Lonnie Craft (two RBI) and Matt Craft (two walks, three runs scored) also starred for Shope en route to the title game victory.

Reach Kevin Colley at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930 OR on Twitter @ColleyKevin7