SHADY SPRING â€” The Lillys were blooming in Shady Spring on Saturday afternoon.
Caleb Lilly drove in three runs on a 4-for-4 day and Cameron Lilly struck out seven batters in a complete-game effort as the Shady Spring Tigers defeated PikeView 8-1 in the Class AA, Region 3, Section 2 tournament semifinal.
â€śSince 10 oâ€™clock this morning, weâ€™ve been hitting,â€ť Caleb Lilly said. â€śI mean, weâ€™ve hit all day today. It showed.â€ť
The game lasted slightly less than two hours on an 80-degree sunny afternoon. PikeView was playing after eliminating Bluefield from sectional play on Friday night.
â€śThe kids were still ready to go,â€ť said PikeView head coach Tucker Meadows. â€śWe got some hits; we just didnâ€™t get timely hits. You know, baseball is a funny game. (Shady Springâ€™s) hits just found the hole.â€ť
Shady Spring coach Dave Shaw said, â€śI always worry about momentum from them, after beating Bluefield, coming in and being all excited. But our guys took care of business. They did what they needed to do. Our pitcher pitched really well today â€¦ threw lots of strikes.â€ť
The Tigers (13-8) had 12 hits, including back-to-back RBI knocks from Justin Lovell and Matt St. Clair that gave the home team a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Lovell was 2 for 3 at bat.
Caleb Lilly said, â€śWe havenâ€™t been seeing many first-pitch fastballs, so whenever we see them, we make sure we take advantage of it.â€ť
â€śIn the last couple of games of the season, weâ€™ve been hitting the ball real good, so we had a pretty good attitude about coming in here.â€ť
Shaw said Caleb Lilly has â€śbeen big for us.â€ť He said that on Saturday, the senior produced â€śnothing smoking off the bat, but he found the spots and found the holes, and thatâ€™s what youâ€™ve got to do. â€¦ His batting average is over .400 this year. Sometimes he rips the ball; today, he just found the spots.â€ť
The Panthers (8-18) collected three walks and five hits, all singles, off Cameron Lilly.
Meadows summoned sophomore Landon Bailey to pitch in the middle of the third inning after starter Chase Watkins left the mound due to a sore arm.
Bailey said, â€śThe first time we played Shady, they beat us pretty good. I just wanted to come in there and hold the game to what it was, and try to pick up a win. But â€“ losses happen.â€ť
Bailey was also the only Panthersâ€™ batter with multiple hits, going 2 for 3. The other hits came from Kobey Taylor-Williams, Luke Nash and Andrew White.
â€śI was ready to play today,â€ť Bailey said. â€śWe had some decent hits, but Shady just hit the ball where we werenâ€™t. Thatâ€™s just what youâ€™ve got to do.â€ť
Shaw had hoped for an even quicker end to the game via the 10-run rule, but Shady Spring left eight men on base, five of them in scoring position.
â€śWe had opportunities to actually put them away,â€ť the Tigers coach said. â€śThat bothered me, that we didnâ€™t get those extra hits. We had a lot of people on base and we just couldnâ€™t get all the runs in â€¦ that we needed to.â€ť
White drove in the sole PikeView run in the fourth. Catcher Peyton Meadows drew a leadoff base on balls, after a full count, and then stole second base to set the stage.
Tigers second baseman Caleb Dangerfield sparked the defensive play of the day in the same inning, initiating his teamâ€™s only double play. He stabbed Jonah Lyleâ€™s laser-like shot on a bounce, twirled around and fired to second for a 6-4-3 momentum shifter that ended the top of the fourth.
Saturday turned out to be the final prep baseball game for two PikeView seniors, Nash and Hunter Mitchelson.
Standing beside the school bus that would take him and his teammates home, Nash said that playing for PikeView has â€śmeant the world to me. Waking up every day and playing the sport you love â€“ itâ€™s an honor to do it, and Iâ€™ll remember it forever.â€ť
Shady Spring will travel to Lindside on Monday to play James Monroe, the top seed in the sectional, for the tournament crown.
First pitch is at 6 p.m.Â
Shady Spring must win to force a second game.Â
At Shady Spring
PikeView………………….000 100 0 — 1 5 2
Shady Spring………….201 230 x — 8 12 2
Chase Watkins, Landon Bailey (3) and Peyton Meadows. Cameron Lilly and Parker Redden. W — Lilly. L — Watkins. HR — none.