The Salem Spartans visited Blacksburg on Friday in a game between the two former River Ridge foes. The game turned into a slug fest as both teams attempted to save pitching for next week’s stretch run and ten total errors played a large role in the game.
Blacksburg jumped on Salem in the bottom of the 1st, scoring five runs to take a quick 5-0 lead. Seb Cianelli led off with a single to LF, followed by a single from Morgan McCoy and an RBI single from Ben Anstrom, which scored Cianelli (1-0). Ethan Gofoth hit a sacrifice fly, scoring McCoy (2-0). Adam Linkous then reached base via a Salem infield error. Jake Schirmer singled to LF, scoring Anstrom (3-0). Jake Verniel reached on a fielder’s choice and thenTyler Davis reached base on a second Spartan infield error, which allowed Linkous and Verniel to both score (5-0). Salem finally was able to register an out to end the inning, but not before putting themselves in a big hole.
Salem fought back and scored two runs in the top of the 2nd to narrow the score to 5-2.
The Bruins picked up another run in the bottom of the 2nd. With two outs and no one on base, Anstrom doubled to CF. Goforth then hit an RBI single to LF, scoring Anstrom (6-2). A ground out ended the inning for Blacksburg.
Salem tied the game in the top of the 3rd, scoring four runs to notch the game at 6-6.
Blacksburg kept their bats going in the bottom of the 3rd, scoring four more runs to break the game back open for a 10-6 lead. Schirmer led off with a single to LF and then Verniel reached on a Salem infield error to put two runners on base with no outs. Davis singled to LF, scoring Schirmer (7-6). Michael Olszewski drew a walk and Verniel scored on an error by the Salem catcher (8-6). After an out, McCoy hit a ground ball single past 3B, scoring Davis (9-6). Anstrom singled to LF, which scored Olszewski on the RBI hit (10-6). A ground out to SS ended the productive inning for Blacksburg.
Salem scored a run in the top of the 4th to narrow the Bruin lead to 10-7. Blacksburg scored another run in the bottom of the 4th. Linkous led off and reached base by a Salem infield error and then Schirmer singled to LF, advancing Linkous to 3B. Verniel hit a RBI ground out, scoring LInkous (11-7) and then two consecutive groundouts ended the inning for the Bruins.
Salem scored a run in the top of the 5th to narrow the lead back to three runs at 11-8.
In the bottom half of the frame, Blacksburg was held scoreless for the first time in the game as the line up was retired in consecutive order.
Salem continued to fight back, scoring two runs in the top of the 6th to make the game a one run game at 11-10. Blacksburg sent four batters to the plate in the bottom of the 6th. Adam Linkous hit a triple to RF with one out, and after a fly out, he was tagged out at home.
Salem tried to make the ending of the game interesting as the lead off batter reached on a Bruin infield error, but Blacksburg pitcher Jake Verniel struck out the next two batters and then forced a ground out to end the game for the win 11-10.
Verniel pitched the last 4 2/3 innings, scattering five hits for three earned runs. He walked five batters and struck out three. Michael Olszewski started on the mound for Blacksburg, pitching 2 1/3 innings and giving up six earned runs. He allowed six hits, walked four, and struck out one batter.
Offensively, the Bruins scored 11 runs on 13 hits. Six of the runs were earned. Ben Anstrom and Jake Schirmer were both 3/4, with Anstrom having 2 RBIs while Schirmer had one. Morgan McCoy was 2/4 with an RBI while Seb Cianelli, Ethan Goforth, Adam Linkous, Jake Verniel, and Tyler Davis each had a hit. Goforth had two RBIs.
"We hit the ball really aggressive, probably best approach we’ve had all year," said Head Coach Danny Shouse. "We didn’t let them get two strikes on us much. Our defense was ok, we’ve struggled at times, but it is what it is. We hit the ball well. We struggled a little bit on the mound. We just got to keep doing what we’re doing. We’re not giving up. Good things are happening. We’ve got two games coming up that don’t’ matter, but we need to win them for momentum. We’ve got a big game on Saturday that we’ve got to get ready for. With some of the unpredictable losses suffered by our opponents, this Conference thing is still up for grabs."
With the win, the Blacksburg Varsity improves to 9-5 on the season.
Tag(s): BHS Varsity