May 15—CLAYTON — Jonah Shearer might not have had his best stuff on the mound for Beaver River against rival Thousand Islands on Friday, but his teammates sure picked him up offensively.
In the third meeting of the week between the teams and in a showdown for first place, Shearer was backed by a 17-hit effort as the Beavers rolled to a 20-7 win in a Frontier League "C" Division game on a windy day at Thousand Islands High School.
"I really didn't have good command of my fastball all the way through," Shearer said. "So I just had to keep battling out there."
Beaver River scored early and often to pull away in a game shortened to five innings because of a 10-run mercy rule, to improve to 5-2, including 4-1 in the league.
"That was definitely a struggle to make it through, but we did it," Beaver River coach Mike Kogut said. "It's definitely good to take the series, these series are fun."
"Our offense was thankfully coming around today," Shearer said. "So even when I did give up the runs, we still had a good lead."
With the Beavers providing plenty of run support by scoring 12 runs in the first three innings, first baseman Brandon Atwood singled twice, drove in four runs and scored four runs, and catcher Sam Bush singled twice, drove in a pair of runs and scored three times.
"The offense was great, the bats were super alive and we were just all over the place hitting the ball everywhere," Bush said. "We were just doing what we needed to do putting up runs."
The Beavers won two of three games against the Vikings this week. It was also the second win in five days for Shearer, who tossed a two-hitter in an 8-0 victory at Thousand Islands on Monday.
"This was a nice week for us, these series are a lot of fun," Atwood said.
The Vikings bounced back by winning 10-0 at Beaver River on Wednesday in a game also shortened to five innings as their ace Wyatt Parliament, tossed a two-hitter, striking out 14.
Shearer, who struck out 11 batters Monday, wasn't quite as dominant in the series finale. He allowed five runs, three of them earned, and struck out eight in four innings. Atwood pitched the fifth to finish off the win.
"Jonah didn't have his best stuff, but he battled through and got through to get the win for us," Kogut said. "And the offense did what it had to do."
A native of Colorado, Shearer also helped out himself at the plate as he doubled twice, singled, drove in a run and scored four runs of his own.
Also for Beaver River, third baseman Kadin Martin singled twice and drove in four runs and left fielder Lincoln Becker collected three singles.
"I've been preaching to them that eventually we're going to have to hit in these series, because nobody's got five or six pitchers," Kogut said. "Sam Bush just keeps putting the ball in play and getting RBIs when we need it and two-out hits," Kogut said. "He's really stepped up for us. He's carried us offensively in times where we've needed it and other guys have stepped up, and that's the biggest thing."
After the Beavers struck for three runs in the first inning, they scored six in the second, three in the third and erupted for eight runs in the fourth, as they batted around in both the second and fourth innings.
"That was huge, we took good at bats and we hit the ball, I think we're starting to come around," Kogut said. "Now we're getting into the meat of the season where everybody's going to be going four games a week, and this is what a series is going to test is your depth. And I think Brandon did a great job coming in and just when we needed to get outs and shorten the game, he did that."
Parliament doubled twice and drove in a run for the Vikings (3-2), second baseman Jackson Ludlow doubled, singled and knocked in three runs and third baseman Brandon Wiley singled twice.
"I was pleased with how we hit the ball tonight, Shearer threw well and we knew we had to score runs," said Thousand Islands coach Zach Meier, whose team totaled 10 hits. "We simply need to get better at finding the zone early in the game and having better situational awareness at times."
Thousand Islands planned to pitch Parliament on Monday against Beaver River, but its staff ace didn't play Monday after he felt ill after taking his second COVID-19 vaccination shot Sunday, according to Meier.
Parliament, who goes to school at LaFargeville, has won all three of his starts this season.
In 2019, both Beaver River and Thousand Islands shared the league's "C" Division title and both teams advanced to the Class C sectional semifinals.
"We always enjoy the matchup with Beaver River," Meier added. "Who knows, maybe our paths will cross in sectionals."