F&M Baseball Classic: Friedrich stars in Salisbury win
KANNAPOLIS — Salisbury made a clean getaway Saturday morning, capping its first foray into the F&M Classic with a well-played 5-1 victory over Concord.
The Hornets won two of three games this week at CMC-NorthEast Stadium and will return to CCC play as a .500 team.
“That was important,” assistant coach Chris Painter said after SHS (7-7 overall) collected four extra-base hits. “We evened things up and can go back to conference with a little bit of confidence.”
Salisbury can thank winning pitcher Scott Friedrich for that. The senior righthander scattered five hits and tactfully stayed out of harm’s way in a complete-game effort.
“This was a lot better than what I’ve been doing,” he smiled after striking out four and walking none in his second start of the season. “Honestly, I’ve mostly been a reliever and it’s always been when we were down four or five runs. Knowing I had time to think about it and plan it out, that was a strong motivator for me.”
Friedrich (2-1) planned his work, then worked his plan. Using a garden-variety fastball and an adequate curve, he worked quickly, with visible confidence. He survived the first two innings despite allowing Matt Bodsford’s leadoff hit and Cody Franklin’s second-inning double.
“Not right away, but (Friedrich) was hitting his spots today,” said SHS catcher Skyler Mikkelson. “It’s tough to hit a pitcher when he’s on like that. After a couple innings everybody knew it was his game and they just let him keep going.”
Third-baseman Parker McKeithan put the beef on the grill for Salisbury, slicing an opposite-field double against Concord starter Drew Yoos and crunching a seventh-inning two-bagger against reliever Matt Twigger. “It was a long time coming,” he said afterward. “Not just just for me, but everybody.”
Salisbury snatched a 2-0 lead in the top of the second when Mikkelson coaxed a bases-loaded walk and Riley Myers delivered a sacrifice fly. After Concord drew within 2-1 on a Friedrich wild pitch, the Hornets packaged three runs on four hits to go up 5-1 in the fourth inning. Key blows were landed by Chance Bowden — who served a soft, run-scoring line drive into left field — and Ryan Jones, who produced the game’s final run on a triple into the right-field corner.
The rest was up Friedrich, who retired nine straight batters — and 11 of 12 — between the third and sixth innings.
“Last year Concord saw the worst of us,” he said. “Our pitchers weren’t at their best and we were walking people.” Today they saw how good we can be.”