Prep Baseball: Salisbury 4, West Davidson 3, 8 innings
By Nick Bowton
Salisbury let a victory slip away in the seventh inning Tuesday night.
Fortunately for the Hornets, West Davidson gave it back in the eighth.
With second place in the CCC on the line, Salisbury won 4-3 in eight innings. The Green Dragons committed three errors in the bottom of the eighth, and David Ijames scored the winning run with one out when Dustin Dupre hit a groundball to the shortstop. Jason Gray botched the play, but Ijames would have scored regardless.
“It wasn’t a pretty game, but I think it was probably fun to watch,” said Salisbury coach Scott Maddox, whose Hornets now lead West Davidson by 11/2 games and trail Ledford by just half a game. ” A lot of drama. It was a typical West Davidson-Salisbury game. We were playing games like that before they were in our league all the time.”
Some of the drama stemmed from positive plays, like Zack Burkart’s pair of home runs that accounted for all three West Davidson runs. But plenty of it stemmed from sloppy fielding, as Salisbury (14-5, 7-2) had three errors and West Davidson (11-5, 5-3) had six.
The Hornets trailed 2-1 going into the fifth inning, but Robbie Ijames singled home Russell Michalec and later scored on a fielding error for a 3-2 lead.
That lead held up into the seventh inning and lasted the first two outs of that inning as well. Then Burkart sent the first pitch he saw from Salisbury starter Alex Britt sailing over the fence in right-center field.”That kid can hit,” Maddox said. “He’s been hammering pitches since he got to West Davidson. It’s not like he had a night against us that he’s never had before.”
Burkart’s second blast tied the game at 3-all, and Ben Ijames then relieved Britt. Maddox says he uses Ijames in relief because he always comes in and throws strikes.
That plan didn’t work out immediately, as Ijames walked the first two batters he faced.
“I normally come in and just throw strikes, but two great hitters were up,” Ijames said. “I didn’t want to give them anything too good to hit, so I tried to keep it on the corners and ended up walking them.”
After he recorded a strikeout to end the inning, Ijames got through the top of the eighth fairly easily. His cousin, David Ijames, reached on an error to lead off the bottom of the eighth, and Ben Ijames then reached on an infield single when the third baseman hesitated while looking at second.
That miscue proved more costly when the late throw to first sailed wide and let David Ijames go to third.
“We made some mistakes, but the thing I like is every time someone made a mistake, we came back and battled,” WD coach Jerry Walser said. “If we had gotten one more chance, I guarantee one of our kids would have made a big play.”
After David Ijames crossed the plate, West Davidson didn’t get a final chance to atone for its latest mistakes.
“I’ll take a win any day,” Ijames said. “No matter how it looks.”
Contact Nick Bowton at email@example.com.