Etowah wins neighborhood matchup
by Emily Horos
ehoros@cherokeetribune.com
March 28, 2013 12:48 AM | 1386 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
WOODSTOCK — Etowah’s Tanner Shelton was the master of the mound for seven innings, striking out 10 and allowing just one run, but it was Joey Hume and Will Campbell who powered the Eagles to a 4-1 victory in the Region 5AAAAAA showdown against Woodstock.

Hume went 3-for-4 and scored a run, while Campbell’s three-run homer in the first inning and RBI-single in the second inning accounted for all of the Eagles’ runs.

Etowah coach Greg Robinson said his players were aggressive at the plate early.

“Hits hare contagious,” he said. “We got some things going on and were every fortunate Campbell had a good swing when we had a couple of guys on. We had a few good swings early in the game and held on.”

Woodstock pitcher Parker Austin got off to a rough start, but settled down as the game wore on.

Austin walked H.D. Dillard to start the game before Hume singled to center field. Campbell followed with his base-clearing blast to left field as Etowah grabbed a 3-0 lead before the Wolverines were able to record an out. Austin struck out Robbie Knox before J.T. Thomas delivered a double down the third base line. Jake Swan would reach on an error but Austin was able to end the threat by striking out Caleb Shelton and getting Noah Karst to fly out to center.

The Eagles (12-4, 3-1) added another run in the second. With one out, Dillard reached first base when it was hit by a pitch and moved to second on a failed pickoff attempt. Hume singled to left center to move Dillard to third and Campbell’s single past Woodstock shortstop John Meuse drove in Dillard. A pair of fly outs ended the inning.

While Etowah was able to put runners in scoring position in the third and fourth innings, it wasn’t able to push another run across the plate.

Tanner Shelton, a Georgia Tech commitment, allowed just two hits through six innings, but surrendered consecutive singles to Tanner Thomson, Zach Zillweger and Chase Williams to load the bases with no outs in the seventh inning. Jack Brannon hit a sacrifice fly to left field to drive in Thomson before Shelton struck out Dakota Kinney and Meuse to end the game.

Woodstock coach Todd Harris said it took his players a couple at bats to adjust to the strike zone and to Shelton’s pitching.

“I don’t think our kids made the adjustment at the beginning of the game and I think at the end of the game they started making a little better adjustment as far as knowing what the umpire was calling and what we could hit up there to be successful,” he said. “It was a little too late, but we made some adjustments.”

Harris said he was pleased with the way that Austin was able to settle down after the first inning. After he saw the pitching give up three runs in the frame, he didn’t expect to have him in the game for six innings.

“One pitch was the difference of the game,” said Harris. “I think he settled in after that first inning when it had trouble getting his breaking ball over. That is a testament to him. He kept saying ‘coach, I’m going back in.’”

Robinson said he gave the ball to Shelton because he expected the Wolverines to put up a fight.

“Shelton was on tonight,” said Robinson. “We got a couple good swings early, but it was a typical Woodstock rivalry. It’s not over until you get 21 outs. We were fortunate (Shelton) had some pretty good stuff late.”

Robinson said that it is great to beat a county rival, but winning a Region 5AAAAAA game means even more.

The Eagles play at Cherokee on Friday. Woodstock (9-6, 1-2) travels to Roswell.

“That’s the thing I love about his region,” said Harris. “There is never a game off.”
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