By RICK PETERSON
Seaman's baseball team had to work out of numerous jams against Shawnee Heights Tuesday night, starting with an eventful first inning and going down to the final pitch of the night.
But the Vikings had an answer for each and every situation, riding strong pitching and key defensive plays to a 2-0 rivalry win over the T-Birds on Heights' Senior Night at the Bettis Family Sports Complex.
"When you play guys that you know, that you've grown up with, you can throw the records out because they want to beat you,'' Seaman coach Trent Oliva said. "That's a good ballclub over there and we're going to get their best shot just like we're going to try to give them our best shot.''
Seaman, which improved to 14-3, scored what proved to be the game-winning run when junior Maclane Finley singled and scored in the top of the first inning, but Shawnee Heights loaded the bases in the bottom of the first, setting the tone for the night.
Shawnee Heights, which fell to 10-8, would go on to strand 11 runners in the game, including five over the first two innings and two in the bottom of the seventh, before Viking senior reliever Brady Stuewe ended the game with a strikeout.
"You've just got to go right at them and try to get them out the best you can without having them put a ball in play and something happening,'' Stuewe said.
Shawnee Heights senior Max Orton turned in a gutsy complete-game pitching performance, but Seaman added an insurance run in the top of the fourth when senior Cole Askew reached on an error and came around to score on a a single by sophomore Bryson Vawter and the T-Birds were unable to crack the scoring column despite having baserunners in all seven innings.
"We had some traffic, we were stalled though,'' Shawnee Heights coach Ryan Schmidt said. "Timely hits has been our issue. When we get the timely hits we win ball games and when we don't you have to scratch it out some other way.''
Senior Kevin Mannell got the pitching start for Seaman and worked the first three innings before winning pitcher Stuewe came on in the fourth and allowed just two hits the rest of the way while striking out five and issuing three walks.
"Kevin came out and battled, but every out he got was important to us just because it was one less out Brady had to worry about getting,'' Oliva said. "Kevin battled through some adversity and did a nice job and then Brady came in and did what he did and was able to throw strikes and get outs when he needed them.''
Senior Kolden Howerton turned in a diving catch for Seaman in rightfield and Askew also turned in a defensive gem for the Vikings in the seventh inning, holding Brayden Zirkle to a long single when he cut off the ball in the leftfield corner, preventing the T-Birds from getting runners to second and third.
SEAMAN 2, SHAWNEE HEIGHTS 0
Seaman (14-3) 100 100 0 -- 2 6 2
Shawnee Heights (10-8) 000 000 0 -- 0 5 1
Mannell, Stuewe (4) and Kirmer. Orton and Parrish. W -- Stuewe. L -- Orton. 2B -- Seaman: Colley.