Prep Baseball: Bad news: Hornets lose. Good news: Bauk’s healthy
SALISBURY — Brian Bauk threw six strong innings on Wednesday for Salisbury’s Hornets.
Salisbury still lost 5-0 to 4A Charlotte Olympic at Robertson Stadium, but Bauk proving to his team, his coaches and himself that he’s healthy enough to be counted on for mound duty down the stretch was the biggest thing that came out of the loss.
“We got some scrap runs off him,” Olympic coach J.P. Culp said. “But he was throwing well and he was changing speeds well.”
Appalachian State signee Bauk (1-3) hadn’t pitched in a month because of a pulled muscle in his lower back that was preventing him from following through.
“But I had some fun out there tonight,” Bauk said. “It felt pretty good.”
Bauk threw 77 pitches, most of them strikes. Harrison Smith relieved him for the seventh, with SHS down 4-0.
“Brian looked healthy, and that was the main thing,” Salisbury coach Scott Maddox said. “He could’ve stayed in for the seventh and he wanted to stay in for the seventh.”
Add Bauk to a staff that’s been anchored by Riley Myers (5-1) and Scott Friedrich (3-1), and the Hornets have a chance to win the CCC and maybe do something in the 2A playoffs.
Salisbury (10-8, 6-1) plays Thomasville at home tonight. Then it finishes CCC play with back-to-backs against first-place East Davidson.
“We’re more than capable of beating them,” Bauk said.
Salisbury vs. Olympic, located in southwest Charlotte, is about as weird a matchup as Jupiter vs. Mars, but both coaches were excited about it.
“It’s always a mad scramble for us to find non-conference games, and I like for my guys to play against different guys in different places outside of Charlotte,” Culp said. “We’re pretty good and we have some good athletes, but I was worried about the numbers when we got here. We’ve got just 11 guys. It looked like Salisbury had about 25.”
Maddox saw Olympic (13-7) as quality preparation for East Davidson.”
“Olympic is good,” he said. “They’re in first place in their league and they 10-run-ruled the second-place team Tuesday. They would’ve 10-run-ruled us earlier this season, but we’ve improved some.”
Olympic pitchers Tyler Miller (six innings for the win) and Daniel Gosselin, who closed, were efficient and had some very quick innings. They also got a lot of help from outfielders Darius Means, Nigel Louallen and Tanner Mann.
“Their pitchers threw a lot of strikes, but we hit balls hard,” Bauk said. “There just weren’t any holes. I hope all our guys remember how bad it feels to get robbed of a hit, and maybe we’ll rob some people.”
Chance Bowden hit two screamers. Both were caught in the outfield. Ryan Jones jumped all over a pitch to start the seventh, but Means made a fine catch of his liner to center.
Bauk was rusty on pickoffs, and that helped the visitors score twice in the first inning.
“We started off lackadaisical,” Maddox said. “We needed to get the right mindset back, and we did that. Overall, I was pleased.”
Olympic’s two-run third was keyed by a triple to right field by Logan Redmond. Friedrich dove unsuccessfully, but the ball was catchable if he’d broken in instead of back.
Brian Beaton’s RBI single in the seventh against Smith made it 5-0, but Smith fanned two of the five men he faced.