Prep Baseball: Salisbury advances
By Bill Kiser
DENVER ó Most teams taking a losing streak into the playoffs would be thinking about packing up their gear for the long offseason.
Not Salisbury, which snapped a three-game losing streak by pounding East Lincoln 11-3 on Friday night in the opening round of the 2A playoffs.
The Hornets (17-8) slapped around three different Mustangs pitchers for 12 hits Friday, backing up a strong pitching performance from starter Alex Britt.
Britt, who got the win to improve to 6-3 ó-limited East to four hits over six innings while striking out 11, two off his career high.
“That was my goal tonight,” Britt said. “I wanted to hit my spots, and I had a lot of confidence in the guys hitting the ball. I didn’t worry about that much. If we hit, then nobody can stand up against us. Once we hit, we’re unstoppable.”
Salisbury, which advances to play Starmount (14-9), a 2-0 winner over Bessemer City on Friday, was pretty unstoppable against East, with all nine starters getting at least one hit.
David Ijames had three hits, including a pair of doubles, his county-best 11th and 12th this season, and drove in a pair of runs for the Hornets. Dustin Dupre added a pair of hits, Ben Ijames drove in two runs, and Robbie Ijames belted his county-leading ninth home run.
“I can’t say enough about how we swung the bats,” Hornets coach Scott Maddox said. “It was top to bottom ó it was everybody. We just swung the bats really well. It’s exciting to come out and see the kids playing the way they’re capable of playing.”
Salisbury jumped ahead with three runs in the top of the first inning off East starter Drew Spear on Robbie Ijames’ homer and run-scoring hits by Britt and Doug Seaman.
That early outburst gave Britt the cushion he needed to work with from the mound.
“That was great ó I loved it,” Britt said. “Once they did that, that took a load of pressure off me.”
Britt gave up two runs on two hits in the bottom of the third, and a third run in the bottom of the fifth, but was in command the rest of the way.
“Alex did a super job,” Maddox said. “He threw his off-speed pitches for strikes and changed speeds on his fastball good. He had them off-kilter all night.”The Hornets tacked on four runs in the fourth and four more in the sixth to pull away.
NOTES: The game was stopped twice because of rain and lightning.
Contact Bill Kiser at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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