Osenbaugh walk-off completes Shenandoah DH sweep of Union County

Mar. 30—MIDDLETOWN — Shenandoah was all smiles after star junior Collin Osenbaugh lined a walk-off RBI double in the second game Saturday to finish off a double-header sweep of Union County. The swing came just after the Raiders squandered an eight-run lead in the top of the inning, and their coach implied if the Patriots had salvaged a split, the six hours it took to complete the twin bill would have just been the beginning of their day at the ballpark.

"They were going to be here a lot longer if they had lost that second game," Ryan Painter said.

Osenbaugh's double capped a 17-16 Raiders win in Game 2 after a heroic relief effort on the mound from sophomore Maddux Davis helped pave the way for a 9-4 win in the opener.

The wins for Shenandoah (2-1) came just days after a 6-1 loss to Lapel in which no Raider hitting fourth or later in the lineup reached base. The bulk of their offensive production came from the top third, comprised of Drew Fredenburg, Ethan Loy and Osenbaugh — a Louisville commit.

While those three are certainly capable of carrying more than their share of the offensive load, Painter knew he would need production from the rest of the lineup, both in terms of driving those three players in as well as setting the table for those top hitters to drive in.

"We had a couple days to get some practices in and work on what we needed to work on," Painter said. "We got our point across to how we needed to change our approach to the plate. We were productive one through nine, all the way through the lineup."

There was plenty of output from that part of the lineup Saturday, and it started in the bottom of the first inning when junior Ashton Renz lined an RBI single to left to stake the Raiders to a 2-0 advantage in the first inning.

After an 0-for-17 performance in the opener, the four through nine hitters were 6-for-21 with five runs and three RBI in Game 1. The newcomers helped launch a pair of later three-run rallies — including a huge two-run single by Brandan Conyers — that lifted Shenandoah to the first-game win.

"We hit good pitching today, and we were aggressive," Painter said. "Our approach improved, and I think we knew it would. I wasn't too concerned after the Lapel game. Today was much better, especially in Game 1, with production up and down the lineup."

Loy, who pitched four no-hit innings of relief in Wednesday's loss, got the start in Saturday's opener but exited after three innings after struggling with his control. He walked six and handed the ball to Davis, who kept the Patriots (0-2) quiet. He allowed four hits and just one earned run over the last four innings, keeping Union County's offense in check while the Raiders stormed back.

While not overpowering, Davis — named for former Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves pitching great Greg Maddux — did the job while walking just one and striking out two batters.

"I was basically just throwing strikes, like coaches said. If you throw strikes, good things happen," he said.

Davis also had a hand in the fourth- and fifth-inning Shenandoah rallies that were the difference. He doubled and scored on a Loy triple as part of the three-run fourth and drew a walk to extend the inning and allow Loy to drive in another with a single to stretch the lead.

The coaches were not the only people pleased to see Shenandoah produce runs up and down the lineup.

"It's good because they get started and momentum going for us," Davis said. "We have some new varsity guys, and maybe against Lapel there were some nerves. But today was fun. We just need to have fun and win games."

The second game saw no shortage of offensive production, no matter which part of the lineup you look at.

While the Patriots scored three in the first and another in the second inning, Shenandoah batted around in each of the first two frames — scoring four runs in each — to grab an 8-4 lead. Conyers drove in his third run of the double header, and Ezra Byrd drove in another while the Raiders took advantage of four errors to take the early lead.

Although blanked in the third, Shenandoah then sent 12 batters to the plate and scored seven times in the fourth inning to seemingly take control at 15-8.

After Harrison Jessup kept Union County off the scoreboard in the fourth and fifth, the Raiders had a golden opportunity to end the game by run rule in their half of the fifth but could not close the deal.

Fredenburg, Loy and Osenbaugh started the inning with three straight walks to load the bases with nobody out. Renz brought home Fredenburg with a sacrifice fly, but Union County's Gavin Davis got a pair of strikeouts to end the threat and keep the game going.

After both teams went quietly in the sixth, the first six Patriots reached base in the seventh — three by walks and one on a hit batter — and Union County tied the game with eight runs. Kyle Sams tied the game with a two-run single, and the Patriots were still in business with runners at the corner and one out.

But, after an intentional walk to load the bases, lefty reliever Micah Cole induced Parker Moles to ground to Osenbaugh at shortstop, starting an inning-ending double play.

In the bottom of the inning, Loy walked — reaching base for the sixth time in the game and for the ninth time in 11 plate appearances for the double header — stole second and scored easily when Osenbaugh's drive to right bounced to the fence.

For a team that lost five senior starters as well as injured standout sophomore Jarrett Helman from last year's 22-4 squad, there will be growing pains and occasional struggles as the players new to the varsity roster or lineup continue to find their way.

"We like to put game-like reps on in practice, so we make them compete in different drills or live-situation stuff," Painter said. "I think that's what's getting them more confidence as they do it."

Shenandoah will have road games at Northeastern on Monday and Centerville on Wednesday sandwiched around a Tuesday home game against Rushville.

Contact Rob Hunt at or 765-640-4886.