High School Baseball: Whalen’s complete game lifts Shawnee past Northeastern

Shawnee High School senior Nick Whalen throws a pitch during their game against Northeastern High School on Monday, May 24 at Fairborn's George Winkhouse Stadium. Whalen threw a complete game as the Braves beat the Jets 9-1. Michael Cooper/CONTRIBUTED
Shawnee High School senior Nick Whalen throws a pitch during their game against Northeastern High School on Monday, May 24 at Fairborn's George Winkhouse Stadium. Whalen threw a complete game as the Braves beat the Jets 9-1. Michael Cooper/CONTRIBUTED

Credit: Name Test

Credit: Name Test

Braves reach district finals for first time since 2015

FAIRBORN — The Shawnee High School baseball team is back in the district finals for the first time since 2015.

The sixth-seeded Braves beat third-seeded Northeastern 9-1 in a Division II district semifinal game on Monday evening at Fairborn’s George Winkhouse Stadium.

Braves senior Nick Whalen pitched a complete game, allowing one run on 10 hits with three strikeouts. Shawnee senior Matt Fowler went 2-for-3 with a grand slam and four RBIs while seniors Rudy Scanlan and Zac Spitzer and sophomore Max Guyer each had two hits for the Braves (18-10).

“It was nice because it was a true team win — a lot of hitting, a lot of defense and Nick did a great job pitching,” said Shawnee coach Mark Armstrong. “(Northeastern) is a phenomenal team, they just didn’t have timely hits.”

ExploreCedarville runs away with district track title

Northeastern senior Sam Franzen and juniors Colton Moone and Preston Graves each had two hits and senior Jake Nichols had an RBI double for the Jets, which finished their season 18-10.

“We just didn’t execute and didn’t get the hits when we needed,” said Jets coach Will Nichols. “We made some mistakes, but it’s baseball. You’re going to make mistakes. Hat’s off to them, their pitcher Whalen did a great job. He’s done a great job all year for them. We just didn’t execute and get the key hits. That’s baseball.”

Shawnee took a 1-0 lead in the second inning. In the second inning, Scanlan tripled and scored on a double by Guyer with two outs to give the Braves a 1-0 lead.

Shawnee added another run in the fourth inning. Sophomore Mike Moore walked to start the inning and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Drew Mitch. The next batter Scanlan doubled to left field, scoring courtesy runner Anthony Chestnut from second base to make it 2-0.

In the fifth inning, Luke Myers doubled to start the inning and moved to third on a bunt single by Spitzer. Myers scored on a sacrifice fly by Moore to make it 3-0.

Northeastern cut the lead to 3-1 after Moone reached on an error and scored on a ground rule double by Jets senior Jake Nichols.

Shawnee added another run in the sixth inning. Guyer singled and courtesy runner Mitchell Humphreys moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Fowler. Two batters later, Spitzer singled and scored Guyer to make it 4-1.

With Nichols on the mound, the Braves knew they had to manufacture as many runs as possible, Armstrong said.

“We had to bunt as much as humanly possible to make him move and make the infielders move,” Armstrong said. “They made all the plays, we just got the guys on and put them in the right position.”

The Braves broke the game open with five runs in the seventh inning, which included Fowler’s grand slam.

With an eight-run cushion, Armstrong kept Whalen on the mound to finish the game. He threw a season-high 99 pitches.

“I didn’t wanna take him out and let him finish the game,” Armstrong said. “Luckily, he got out of there. It was good to see him go the whole way.”

Whalen was efficient throughout the game, throwing 70 strikes with just two walks. The Jets flew out 13 times in the game.

“I just threw it where they could hit it and I trusted the defense behind me,” Whalen said.

Shawnee will play Cincinnati Summit Country Day in a D-II district final game at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Centerville High School.

“I can’t wait to see how far we can go,” Whalen said.

In Other News