• 59°

Salisbury is blanked by West Davidson

Salisbury falls to West Davidson

Wayne Hinshaw/for the Salisbury Post …
Salisbury third baseman Parker Lippard steps on the bag and then throws on to first base for a double play.

By David Shaw

sports@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — All Salisbury’s baseball team did over spring break was apply its spring brakes.

The Hornets dropped four of five decisions during Easter recess, capped by Friday’s 8-0 Central Carolina Conference loss to visiting West Davidson.

“We thought we had a chance in this league,” coach Mike Herndon said after Salisbury (11-9, 5-3) yielded five unearned runs and lost to the conference-leading Dragons for the second time in four days. “Now we don’t. We were looking forward to this week, but we kicked it around and gave them a lot of extra chances. They were better than us this week, that’s for sure.”

West (15-5, 8-0) — which trounced the Hornets 14-2 on Tuesday — rode the deceptive right arm of winning pitcher Chris Mauck, a senior who shackled Salisbury’s offense in a complete-game 2-hitter.

“Chris is a competitor,” winning coach Jason Lemley said after Mauck won his sixth game. “He throws fastballs for strikes and uses his other pitches to get groundouts. We always have a chance when he’s on the mound.”

Mauck pitched with precision and attitude. He threw first-pitch strikes to 18 of 25 Salisbury batters, induced 11 groundouts, struck out six and walked none.

“I was well-rested,” he said after a suitable-for-framing, 90-pitch effort. “And throwing from all three arm slots. The main thing for me was getting ahead, throwing strike one. That was my focus.”

Salisbury junior Joe Steinman matched Mauck zero-for-zero for three innings. But the right-hander tired in the fourth, got hammered in the fifth and was lifted after West put its first two batters on base in the top of the sixth.

“Over the first three innings, I was throwing strikes,” Steinman said. “Then I kind of got winded and it was the domino effect. Everyone seemed to get down.”

Steinman allowed five runs — three of them earned — and seven hits in five-plus innings. He issued a bases-loaded walk to No. 9 hitter Drew Wright in the fourth that produced the game’s first run. Then in the fifth, Doulton Anderson pounded an 0-1 pitch into the trees beyond the left-field fence for a leadoff homer.

“I put it a little bit too high in the strike zone,” Steinman said. “And he tanked it.”

Two infield errors and a Cason Fowler single later, it was 3-0.

“They’re a good team. You can’t just give them runs,” Herndon lamented. “They swung the bats, took good approaches and hit some balls hard. Against a team like that you’ve got to make plays.”

No one had a better offensive night than Fowler. The senior DH — a converted catcher — went 4-for-5 with a pair of two-run singles and extended his hitting streak to 18 games.

“When we put him in the DH position, it took a lot of pressure off him defensively,” said Lemley. “He keeps responding for us.”

Fowler opted to share the credit with his teammates. “We’re hot. We’re firing on all cylinders,” he said. “Everybody on the team has found a role. Nobody’s trying to do too much.”

West salted the game away with five more runs in the last two innings. Four were unearned, including three against SHS reliever Hut Smith in the top of the seventh. The game ended when Mauck snapped off a 12-to-6 curveball that caught Salisbury’s Zach Robinette looking.

“We had all of spring break — a chance to play a lot of baseball,” Herndon said with a tinge of disappointment in his voice. “And we played really good at times but just didn’t get the results. It’s not really good until you get the results.”

NOTES: Steinman and Will Taylor had back-to-back singles for the Hornets in the bottom of the second. … Salisbury was 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position. … Mauck retired 15 of 16 batters during one stretch between second and seventh innings. … SHS completes its regular season next week with two games against North Rowan — Tuesday at Robertson Stadium and Friday at North.

West Davidson   000 122 3 — 8   9   3

Salisbury            000 000 0 — 0   2   4

WP — Mauck (6-2). LP — Steinman (5-1). HR — Anderson (1).

Leading hitters — WD: Fowler 4-for-5, 4 RBIs; Bryant 2-for-3. SHS: Taylor 1-for-3, 2 SB.

Comments

Elections

Requests for absentee ballots top 9,000 in Rowan

Local

Spencer approves supplemental USDA loan for Park Plaza project

Business

11 locals will make up Empire Redevelopment Task Force

Local

New finance director excited to prove himself, continue on path set by predecessor

Coronavirus

County health officials report four new COVID-19 deaths

Elections

Trump promotes health care ‘vision’ at stop in Charlotte but gaps remain

Crime

Blotter: Woman charged with stealing mom’s dog

Business

Rowan County hires Howden as new finance director

Local

Exhibit about Jim Crow-era travel on display at NC Transportation Museum

Elections

GOP elections board members resign over absentee settlement

Crime

Drive-by shooting injures 24-year-old Salisbury man

Crime

Highway Patrol: Vehicle fled after striking, killing pedestrian on Camp Road

Local

Locals to be inducted into NC Military Veterans Hall of Fame

Business

Fall fun, with a twist: Patterson Farm adjusts to guidelines, offers new version of traditional events

Nation/World

Sayers, Piccolo friendship lives on in ‘Brian’s Song’

Education

Partners in learning passes last year’s special needs fashion show fundraiser with all-virtual event

Education

Shoutouts

Elections

Former history teacher to use ‘working knowledge of the issues’ in state House race

Business

Chamber adds more than 50 new businesses during Total Resource Campaign

Education

School board candidates for Salisbury seat split on consolidation

Education

Virtually no internet: Rural NC families struggle with online access for school-age children

Education

Horizons Unlimited taking learning to students this semester

Nation/World

NTSB: Pilot’s actions likely caused Earnhardt Jr. plane crash

Nation/World

2 Louisville officers shot amid Breonna Taylor protests