TRI-COUNTY LEAGUE Columbiana moves into lead
Pitcher Brett Seybert has 64 strikeouts in 39 innings.
By JOHN BUTERA
COLUMBIANA -- Brett Seybert struck out 16 batters and Nate Shaw hit a three-run homer Wednesday as the Columbiana High baseball team defeated Crestview 6-3 in a Tri-County League game Wednesday at Firestone Park.
Seybert, who has 64 strikeouts in 39 innings this season, scattered five hits for the Clippers (11-4, 9-1 Tri-County League), who took a half-game lead over Crestview (10-5, 8-1) in the league standings. Trailing 1-0 early, Columbiana had runners on second and third when Shaw hit a 2-1 curveball over the left-field fence.
First home run
Of his first home run of the season, Shaw said, "I was just looking to put the ball in play and get a couple of runs, but I got a good piece of it and it carried out."
Crestview pitcher Seth Antram, who beat Columbiana 1-0 earlier in the season, said, "I just hung a curveball and he had a nice swing on it.
"They hit the ball today and I knew they would," Antram said.
Seybert struck out every batter in Crestview's lineup at least once, while giving up just one extra base hit, Matt Thompson's double in the sixth inning.
The Rebels' Andrew Neiheisel was the only other Crestview batter to have much success against Seybert, finishing with two singles and a stolen base.
"They beat us 1-0 the last time and that was a little hard to take," Seybert said. "Today we got those runs and I think I had better stuff and I tried to settle down."
Columbiana coach Bruce Wolfe said, "We got the hits when we needed them and I think Brent was able to dominate them a little better than the first time.
"Today's game was important, no question," Wolfe said, "but we both have to play Lisbon."
Crestview scored the first run in the third inning. Jim Neeld struck out but reached first on an error by Columbiana's catcher.
Working the hit-and-run to perfection, Neiheisel singled to center-field, sending Neeld to third. Neeld then scored on the front end of a double steal. Seybert settled down and Crestview wouldn't score again until late in the contest.
Seybert struck out at least two in every inning except the fourth.
On Shaw's home run, Wolfe said, "We were just looking for a base hit and even when it left the bat, I thought it was only going to be a double."