Salisbury rolls over Thomasville
By Mike London
SALISBURY — It had to be the most unexciting walkoff hit of Salisbury senior Brian Bauk’s life.
Bauk’s bad-hop single kangarooed into right field and brought Thursday’s CCC baseball contest to an abrupt end in the bottom of the third inning.
If you’ve never seen anyone 15-run-ruled, Thursday was your chance. Salisbury won 15-0 against the Thomasville Bulldogs (1-12, 0-8) at Robertson Stadium.
Salisbury (11-8, 7-1) sent 29 men to the plate in the abbreviated game, and 21 reached base via hits, walks, HBPs or errors. Everyone’s stats got a nice little boost.
Salisbury’s Chance Bowden had the worst time. He got plunked by both a pitch and a pickoff throw, so he’ll be a little sore the next few days.
Scott Friedrich continued his run of effective pitching. Friedrich (4-1) hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last 21 innings, but he wasn’t exactly dancing around the diamond after his one-hitter. His previous start was a no-hitter vs. Lexington.
“A three-inning game — I wouldn’t have counted that even if it had been a no-hitter,” Friedrich said. “It was like I felt tired, and I don’t think I threw that well. Guys just hit the ball and they backed me up. It seems like I definitely get support every time I pitch.”
Bauk was 3-for-3, plus a walk, and he tripled on back-to-back at-bats, which doesn’t happen every day. His second-inning triple was a line drive that threatened to decapitate the second baseman, who was playing in with the bases loaded. The ball went to the fence, and three Hornets romped home for a 5-0 lead.
“The only bad thing is if the guy had been playing back, he might’ve caught that ball,” Bauk said.
But even Green Lantern would’ve had a tough time catching Bauk’s second triple of the night and fifth of the season. That one, leading off the third, soared over the right fielder’s head to the fence. If it had mattered and if the score hadn’t been so one-sided , Bauk might have put it in high gear and tried for an inside-the-park homer.
“I had to hit a curveball on that one,” Bauk reported.
Other than Bauk’s three-baggers, the most exciting play for the Hornets came on the defensive side of things.
Salisbury third baseball Parker McKeithan is roughly a foot taller than second baseman Alex Yang, so a routine throw for a 5-4 force play challenges the laws of physics. Yang had to go airborne to haul in a McKeithan toss for an out in the second inning.
“It looked like Alex was running a pass pattern,” said Salisbury coach Scott Maddox, shaking his head.
Hornets were as conservative as Rush Limbaugh on the bases, but they still had an eight-run second inning.
Maddox, who had planned to get Bowden and Ryan Jones an inning each on the mound, was as disappointed as anyone that the game lasted only three.
“We were going to get some more young guys in there,” Maddox said. “We just didn’t get the chance. That was our first 15-run ruler.”
Justin Ruffin hustled over from a track meet, but the game was over when he arrived on the scene.
Bauk scored three runs and knocked in four. Bowden and McKeithan drove in two runs each.
Maddox said the team will go see the Jackie Robinson movie “42” this weekend, and then it will get serious. The Hornets will fight for a CCC title next week against East Davidson (8-0 CCC).
“We’ve got to beat them twice,” Friedrich said. “But that’s what you work for.”