ROXANA – The Roxana Shells opened up a busy week against Class 1A power Father McGivney Monday afternoon.

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The Shells headed into the game on a seven-game winning streak, making the matchup an intriguing one, but the actual game was not so much.

The Griffins scored seven runs in the second and six more in the fourth as they went on to a 13-1 win, making it their fifth in a row, improving to 18-2 on the season.

“That’s a great team,” McGivney head coach Chris Erwin said about the Shells.

“And we talked about that before the game, this is one we’ve kind of circled on the calendar. They’ve put a string of games together in a really good conference that is very impressive. So, we wanted to come out here and show well, and really take this one and play very hard. I think we played our style of baseball today.”

That style of baseball is heavy-hitting and fast on the basepaths.

McGivney outhit Roxana 13-3 and the Griffins had six stolen bases.

“We take a lot of extra bases, force them to throw to bases they probably shouldn’t throw to,” Erwin said. “It really puts a lot of pressure on them and in some cases overwhelms an inning and that’s good for us.”

The Griffins took advantage of Roxana junior pitcher Cooper Harris early on.

After getting out of the first inning with no trouble, he ran into plenty in the second.

After Justin Terhaar was walked, Benjamin Sink hit an RBI double to make it 1-0. Sink made it over to third after a wild pitch before Nathan Terhaar was walked. The two pulled off the double steal as Terhaar booked it to second, causing the distraction and allowing Sink to steal home to make it 2-0.

Mason Holmes hit an RBI single to score Terhaar and then Gerald Myatt hit an RBI single to score Holmes, making it 4-0.

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Drew Kleinheider scored Myatt with an RBI single then Harris baulked, sending Kannon Kamp across who had reached via a single. Finally, Nick Franklin hit an RBI single to score Kleinheider and make it 7-0.

The Shells tacked one back in the bottom of the second when Aidan Briggs stole home on a wild pitch. He doubled to get on base.

Brady Jones replaced Harris to finish out the second, before he got caught in a jam in the fourth.

Franklin had a sacrifice RBI on a flyball to score Kamp, Isaac Wendler hit an RBI single to score Kleinheider, Sink doubled to score Wendler, and Nathan Terhaar singled to score Sink, making it 11-1. Myatt ended the streak with a two-RBI double that scored Nathan Terhaar and Holmes to get to the final score of 13-1.

While obviously not the result Roxana head coach Gerry Wheaton would have wanted, it was the competition that he likes to play.

“I actually watched a video today, it was a coach talking about if you want to win games, you’ve got to play the best teams, because in the long run, playing the best teams are going to make you a better team. And that’s what this game’s all about. It makes us a better team,” Wheaton said.

“That’s why we joined the conference we did too, and things are going pretty well there right now,” he continued. “If you want to be the best, you’ve got to beat the best, and you’ve got to play the best to get better and that’s what we do.”

The Shells typically have a tough schedule, and this year it is paying off, especially seeing results in the Cahokia (Mississippi) Conference.

Roxana 16-9 on the year and 6-0 in the conference at the moment with a big game scheduled on the road at Breese Central tomorrow, Tuesday, April 23 at 4:30 p.m. Those are the games Wheaton is worried about most right now.

“Not that it didn’t mean anything, because we had a seven-game winning streak going on, so that means a lot, but in the grand scheme of things, winning a conference championship and maybe getting a No. 1 seed in a regional is more important than beating Father McGivney,” Wheaton said.

The Shells host Marquette Catholic on Wednesday and then play crosstown rivals Wood River at Norris Dorsey Field on Thursday before closing out the week on Saturday with a game against St. Pius X of Festus, Mo. at Busch Stadium.

McGivney looks to take complete control of the Gateway Metro Conference this week with a home and away series against Marquette on Tuesday and Thursday. The Griffins then play Alton at Busch Stadium on Sunday.

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