Local Sports

Whiteland pitcher shuts down Shelbyville in baseball sectional debut

ST. LEON – Shelbyville had no answer for Drew Helton.

The Whiteland junior twirled a no-hitter Wednesday to lead Whiteland to a 6-0 win over Shelbyville in game two of the Class 4A, Sectional 14 baseball tournament at East Central High School.

Helton allowed two walks and struck out 11 in completely shutting down Shelbyville (14-14).

“Kudos to Drew Helton,” said Shelbyville head coach Royce Carlton. “He threw the game of his life tonight.

“It was one of those you can’t ever anticipate. Our guys were swinging at it. It wasn’t like we were watching a whole lot of stuff. He had some good movement. He was bringing it and spotting it up. It is hard to do much when a guy pitches that well.”

Aiden Smith took the loss for Shelbyville in his postseason debut. The freshman struggled to command his pitches but kept working out of trouble to keep the Golden Bears in the game.

Maalik Perkins led off the game with an infield single. He advanced to second on a wild pitch and moved to third on Blake Riddle’s fly out to centerfielder Donovon Martin.

Helton followed with a sacrifice fly to left field and it was all the run support he needed.

Logan Prickett earned a two-out walk in the bottom of the third inning but a Luke Brinkman infield grounder ended the inning.

Dalton Jones worked a two-out walk in the seventh inning but Helton struck out Eli Sheppard to end the game.

The Golden Bears entered the sectional with great expectations but the execution was non-existent – no hits, 11 strikeouts, five walks and two hit batters, and four defensive errors.

“This was a series of the most unfortunate events all compiled into one,” said Carlton. “I would say this is probably my most disappointing loss in my career. Nothing got started. Nothing went right. It was one of those where you hope something happens to get a little momentum and we couldn’t even get a little bit.”

Peyton Emberton delivered a two-out single in the fourth that scored Brayden Roy with the game’s second run.

In the fifth, Perkins scored on a Helton double to make it 3-0. Riddle scored on a Donavin Woodall sacrifice fly and a fielding error allowed Helton to score for a 5-0 lead.

In game one of the sectional Wednesday, East Central defeated Columbus East, 8-0. The Trojans (18-7) will host Whiteland (12-13) Friday at 6 p.m. in the first sectional semifinal game at Benner Field.

In game two, Columbus North (15-10) will take the field against Franklin (14-13-1).

Shelbyville started just one senior Wednesday and its top three pitchers will return next season.

“We have a lot of talent and we have talent coming up from the eighth-grade level,” said Carlton. “We have a very bright future.”

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