SHAWNEE – After an hour and a half late start due to rain overnight, the 2018 Shawnee Showdown kicked off Thursday, with the Wolves depositing Muskogee 18-1 in a four-inning night cap. The game was the first for Shawnee since a loss to Edmond Memorial on March 24. Two games against Sapulpa Monday and Tuesday had to be postponed to April 28, due to weather.
The Wolves started slow and allowed a run in the bottom of the first but busted the game wide open in the top of the second to score 11 runs on eight hits. The rally started on a bases loaded beaning of Brandon Eropkin and finished with a walk to Scout Cawvey.
Coach Kevin Paxson said his guys adjusted to the pitching after the first inning and it paid off.
“Last week we faced a similar type of pitcher... coach (Driskill) Sawyer called them together and they decided to make an adjustment and had a great inning,” Paxson said.
Luis Villalobos sacrificed to right to bring home Jacob Hill and Cawvey singled to drive in two runs and go up 4-1. Kade Self doubled to bring in two more runs and Jay Easley and Hill followed with a triple and a double in that order to bring in a run each.
Carson Payne singled to bring in Hill, Eropkin reached on an error to score Payne and Cawvey took a walk with bases loaded to add the last run of the frame.
“It was a good inning,” Paxson said. “Those guys are kinda starting to buy into what coach Sawyer is preaching to them and it was just a good inning.”
Cale Reed pitched for the first three innings but was able to make an early exit to save his arm for later in the tournament or Monday's game against Owasso as needed. He went to the bench after throwing 48 pitches, as Paxson planned.
“It's been two weeks since he's been on the mound so the goal was to get him about 45 pitches and then get him out and get him ready for next week. It worked out perfect,” he said.
Reed gave up two hits and one run, walked three and struck out two.
Self and Easley were each tagged on a pitch to lead off the third and Hill singled to load the bases. Self scored on a wild pitch and Easley came across on a walk to Villalobos to go up 13-1 and lead to a pitching change for the Roughers.
Cawvey singled to drive in two more runs and the Wolves went up 15-1. The Wolves took advantage of mutliple errors in the third and scored three more runs.
Cawvey drove in five runs and was 2-3 at the plate with a walk to lead the Wolves offense. Easley was 2-3 with a triple and Hill was 3-4 with a double. Both boys made it on base in all four attempts and scored four times. Bowlan was beaned twice and scored once.
Shawnee will play two games in the second day of the tournament today. They will face Southmoore with Morgan Lunceford on the mound at 12:30 and battle it out with Eropkin throwing against Putnam City in an 8 p.m. night cap. Paxson is looking forward to the second day of the tournament.
“Any time we get a chance to play, we're excited, especially at our home field and it's supposed to be nice weather, so you can't beat that,” he said.