Prep Baseball: Salisbury 6, East Davidson 0
By Nick Bowton
Salisbury PostSalisbury coach Scott Maddox smiles as he tells a story about an old man who came by Salisbury High a couple of years ago and said he’d been watching the Hornets play. The way Maddox tells it, the old man said he knew what would fix the team’s hitting problems and gave Maddox some “magic dust.”
Maddox’s 2006 team bought into that tale when the magic dust helped a superstitious group turn a season-long hitting slump into a strong finish.
The 2008 team bought into the tale Friday night, when Salisbury broke out of a two-week slump and defeated East Davidson 6-0.
“It was all Coach Maddox,” said David Ijames, whose solo home run sparked a six-hit, four-run fourth inning. “He’s got that dust ó it’s the magic dust. When we’re in a slump, he pulls it out and it works.”
Ijames was a freshman the last time Maddox used his motivational tool. The Hornets know their coach keeps his secret in a brown bottle in his bag, and Maddox decided last night was the time to use it for the second time. Salisbury had batted .222 in its previous four games and was hitless entering the fourth inning Friday.
“I said, ‘Dang it, I don’t have a whole lot left, but I’m gonna pull some out because it’s been two weeks that we haven’t hit,’ ” Maddox said. “Right before that inning we hit that home run, I took them all in the circle, sprinkled it on their hands.
“David said, ‘Give me some more; give me some more.’ I gave him some more, he hits that home run, comes around third base and goes, ‘Man, where’d you get that stuff?’ ”
After Ijames’ home run to left-center field, Alex Britt and Ben Ijames singled and Doug Seaman doubled them home. Forrest Buchanan then singled home Seaman, and Anthony Ijames got another single before the inning ended with Salisbury ahead 4-0.
The six hits in that inning were more than Salisbury had in three of its last four games.
While the players might have credited Maddox’s magic dust, Maddox said the real reason Salisbury broke out of its slump was staying back on the ball and hitting up the middle and to the opposite field.
That’s exactly what Seaman did when he pinged a double deep to right-center field.
“Of all the people who have been struggling, Doug’s been struggling probably the most because he pulled a quad muscle,” Maddox said. “He’s really got no push, and it hurts every time he moves.
“We finally got him staying back. That was huge. If he doesn’t get that …”
If Seaman doesn’t get that hit, Salisbury leads 1-0 going into the fifth. Instead, the Hornets led 4-0 and added two more runs on a Robbie Ijames home run and a sacrifice fly by Britt.
East Davidson, meanwhile, mustered only two hits off Salisbury starter Robbie Ijames.
“Brooks (Miller) pitched well into the fourth,” ED coach Dan Tricarico said. “Then he got a pitch up, and it kind of snowballed. But regardless of what happened from the pitching end, we didn’t score any runs. You gotta swing the bats.”
Contact Nick Bowton at email@example.com.