North Shelby Wins District 13 Championship Over Knox Co.
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By David Sharp
Robert Uhlmeyer did with his bat what he couldn’t from the mound, helping North Shelby (11-3) win the championship of Class 1, District 13 at North Shelby by a 13-11 margin over tenth ranked Knox County.
Knox County (15-5) hung five first inning runs on the Raiders. Robert Uhlmeyer started the game for North Shelby. Uhlmeyer lasted three innings, striking out four with seven walks.
The game was suspended due to inclement weather with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning. The contest was resumed the next day on Wednesday, May 18, 2022. Relievers from both sides restored order to what had been a ragged game in the final inning and a half.
Uhlmeyer slammed a solo home run off Knox County starter Blake Parrish in the first inning. The first six Eagle batters reached base in the first inning. Isaac McCurren led off with a double. Rylan Roberts walked.
Braxton McCurren followed with a base hit. Isaac McCurren scored on a wild pitch. Robert Dooley and Braydon Miller drew opening inning walks. Blake Parrish drew a bases loaded walk for another Eagle tally.
Kellen Parrish and Reice Miller drove in runs. The Raider starter was able to right the ship with two strikeouts to end the inning. Knox County scored five first inning runs on two hits for a 5-1 lead.
“I thought both teams fought hard,” Knox County coach David Cameron said. “We knew coming in it wouldn’t be a 2-1 game. The momentum switched late in the game. They took advantage of it. Hats off to North Shelby.”
Rylan Roberts singled and scored in the bottom of the second inning for a 6-1 KCHS lead. North Shelby answered the Knox County five run first inning with a five run on two hit barrage in the top of the third.
Landon Bender keyed the inning with a two RBI double. Cale Stoneburner drew a bases loaded walk from KC starter Blake Parrish. Two Knox County errors aided the Raider cause.
Blake Parrish pitched 2 1/3 inning with four strikeouts and four hits. Six runs were charged to the KC starter. Braxton McCurren relieved in the third inning. Braxton McCurren pitched an inning and 2/3 with four strikeouts and no runs allowed.
Knox County broke a six all tie with a four run third inning. Robert Dooley turned in a two run double. Kellen Parrish and Reice Miler led off with hits. Both runners scored. Branson Miller doubled but was later thrown out at the plate for the first out of the inning.
Isaac McCurren walked. Rylan Roberts reached on an error. Both runners scored for a 10-6 lead after three complete innings. Branson Miller drove Blake Parrish home with a one out RBI hit for an 11-6 margin after four innings.
Cade Fallert led off the North Shelby fifth inning with a walk. Chesnie Robbins walked. JD Rich walked to load the bases with nobody out. Robert Uhlmeyer drove in a run with a hit.
Kyle Smith singled in a run. Casey Shockley plated a run on a fielder’s choice. Another Knox County error prolonged the inning. The Raiders tied the tally at 11 after five complete innings.
Knox County put Blake Parrish back on the mound late in the contest. JD Rich had a one out sixth inning hit. Robert Uhlmeyer struck the big blow with a two-run homer for a 13-11 lead.
Reice Miller walked leading off the Knox County sixth. Chesnie Robbins made a sure handed catch in the outfield for the first out of the Knox County sixth.
Lightning flashed across the darkening May 17, 2022, sky. The game was stopped due to lightning but was unable to be resumed the same evening because of moderate to heavy rain.
Landon Bender came in to pitch for North Shelby when the contest was resumed on May 18. Bender induced a fly out to center field. Rylan Roberts grounded into a force out.
North Shelby led 13-11 entering the seventh inning. Robert Dooley pitched a scoreless seventh inning, striking out the side. Landon Bender set the Eagles down in order in the seventh inning, preserving the win.
North Shelby scored 13 runs on 8 hits. Five Knox County errors and ten North Shelby walks were factors in the outcome. Knox County pitchers struck out nine men and walked six.
“(Rob) Uhlmeyer is a great hitter,” David Cameron said. “We could have pitched around him in that situation. He made us pay for it. Overall, it is a good year. Every night we worked hard.”
Branson Miller was 2-4 with an Eagle RBI. Robert Uhlmeyer went 4-5 at bat with four runs scored and four batted in. Kyle Smith was the winning pitcher for North Shelby. Landon Bender picked up the save.
Seniors Isaac McCurren, Braydon Miller, Holden Goucher, Branson Miller and Patrick Ogden played their final game for Knox County.
North Shelby played at Green City (16-1) in the Sectional round. The Gophers are the defending Class 1 third place team from 2021. “Any one of the top six teams in this district could have won some districts around here,” North Shelby coach Scott Gaines said.
“Hats off to Coach (David) Cameron. He is returning a lot of quality guys. We have a lot of familiarity with this team. A lot of the boys grew up playing traveling ball with the boys from Knox County.”
“I’ve got some Knox County in my blood. I have a lot of friends up there,” Coach Gaines said. “I can’t be prouder of the resilience my team showed. These guys just don’t quit.”
“I am proud of my seniors. These guys won three district championships in three different sports this year,” Scott Gaines said. “That’s never been done in school history. They are battle tested. We got down early. They just kept chipping away.”
“We clawed ourselves back into the game. We gave ourselves a chance to win. Rob Uhlmeyer didn’t have his best stuff. He didn’t let that carry over to his hitting. He had a great game at the plate. He really carried us offensively.”
“Kyle Smith came in and gave us some quality innings in relief. Landon Bender had only thrown four innings of varsity this year,” Coach Gaines said. “He came in and got five outs in a row.”