But the two pitchers had very different results in the scoring column, which was a good thing for the host Truckers. Christman was on the winning side of a 6-2 decision over Elliot’s Whippets (3-3, 1-2) giving the Norwalk (5-3, 2-1) its fifth win in the last six games.
Christman finished his outing by throwing 97 pitches (61 strikes) and allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits with five strikeouts and a walk in six innings of work. Elliot allowed six runs (two earned) on nine hits with two strikeouts and two walks in six innings.
Norwalk did a nice job on the bases and manufactured runs by utilizing all the tricks in bag. The Truckers bunted safely twice, pulled double steals, and was rewarded for their aggressiveness on the base path.
“That is something that I think we probably stress more than anyone else in the area,” Norwalk coach Wes Douglas said of small ball. “We laid down some pretty good bunts today, and Austin pitched another great game for us.”
Christman is 3-0 this season and has allowed just one earned run on six hits in 18 innings of work in wins over Crestview, Plymouth and Shelby. He threw a one-hit shutout over the Cougars and threw five no-hit innings in the win over the Big Red.
“As a coach all you can ask for is a guy like Austin that gives you a very good chance to win every game,” Douglas said. “Their guy pitched well, too. We just made the most of our opportunities and beat a real good Shelby team.
“They have won the last two conference championships and are they will be competing for a third straight,” he added. “They have some good ball players over there, and are coached well.”
Offensively, Norwalk was led by Nate Adelman with a pair of hits, three runs batted in, and one run scored. Leighton Battles also had a pair of hits from the plate with an RBI and two runs scored, and Christman helped his own cause by knocking in a run on his lone hit.
Shelby was led by Dylan Beekman with two hits and a run scored off the bat of Blaise Caudill and Carter Brooks who scored in the third inning off a Norwalk fielding error.
“They played a good game and I thought their aggressiveness on the bases was the difference,” Shelby coach Jon Amicone said. “We picked them off twice and were still able to create unearned runs. They deserved the win today, and we knew it wouldn’t be easy to get a win. The coaches have done a good job for Norwalk.”
Jacob Roth threw one inning, allowed one hit and struck out two to record the save.
Shelby plays Tiffin Columbian on Friday while Norwalk plays Sandusky next as both teams remain in SBC Lake action.