LIMA — Shawnee’s Tyler Anderson is making the most of his summer baseball season.
The senior pitcher for Shawnee missed most of the spring baseball season due to an arm injury.
Now, it looks like the right-hander is well on his way back.
In Thursday’s ACME District 5 elimination game at Lima Central Catholic’s Players Field, Anderson was in complete control on the mound as he helped lead Shawnee to a convincing 10-2 victory over Liberty-Benton.
With the win, Shawnee (13-14) will face Findlay in a district semifinal at 6 p.m. today at LCC. The winner of today’s game will face LCC on Saturday for the district championship.
In five innings of work, Anderson gave up two runs on just two base hits, while striking out 11 and walking two batters. Anderson threw a total of 63 pitches.
Sophomore Austin Brachok came in on relief in the sixth and closed the game out. Brachok allowed one hit, while retiring six of the seven batters he faced.
Shawnee coach Tyson Anderson, the father of Tyler Anderson and second baseman Trevor Anderson, said he wanted to be a little cautious on how much to use Tyler on the mound against L-B.
“He actually lost a good part of his spring season, because of an arm injury. So, we had him targeted for about 75 pitches tonight. It’s just part of the progression of getting him back to throwing the way he used to throw. He did well. He battled. If he walked somebody, he came back and threw strikes and the defense played well behind him,” coach Anderson said.
Tyler Anderson realized he could not afford to overextend himself on the mound.
“I wanted to get my innings in, but I took it (the arm) in consideration. So, I did my innings and I was ready to hand it over to Brachok,” he said.
At the plate, Casey Mulcahy and Cody Fullenkamp led Shawnee, both collecting two hits and getting two RBIs.
Shawnee recorded eight hits off Liberty-Benton pitching.
L-B got on the scoreboard first, scoring a run in the top of the first inning. A single by Caleb Russell drove in teammate Brandon Samuels, who led off the game with a double to center field. Anderson settled down and got out of the inning without any further damage.
L-B starting pitcher Jared Neiling struggled early. To start the bottom of the first, Neiling threw nine consecutive balls, walking the first two batters. The Indians took full advantage of Neiling’s inaccuracy, scoring three runs on two hits. Mulcahy had a triple in the first that plated a run.
L-B scored its final run of the game in the third when Samuels came around to score on a past ball.
Shawnee scored three more runs in the third. Fullenkamp smacked a double that scored a run. Zack Peak, who got on with a single, eventually scored on a wild pitch delivered by Neiling. Then Andrew Bryan, the No. 9 batter for Shawnee, laid down a perfectly-placed bunt that brought in another run.
In the fourth, Shawnee added some cushion to its lead. The Indians scored four runs on three hits. Mulcahy had an RBI triple, William Kleffner had an RBI double, Fullenkamp had an RBI single and Zack Bailey scored on a wild pitch.
“We made them throw strikes. Our goal is always to put the ball in play, go up and get our cuts and we did a pretty good job of that, tonight,” coach Anderson said. “We want to jump on whoever is pitching and make the defense make plays on us. We did that and our team played well.”