Spartans get back on track with complete game wins by Austin

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Salem’s Landon Hudson dives home with a run in Friday’s win over Pulaski County.
PHOTO BY B\RIAN HOFFMAN

The ship that is the Salem High baseball team is back on course, and senior Trevor Austin has been at the wheel.

Austin pitched back-to-back gems as the Spartans snapped a three-game losing streak with wins over Pulaski County and Christiansburg. Salem had opened the season with nine consecutive wins, only to lose three in a row wrapped around spring break.

“I think we’re back on track,” said Spartan coach Wes McMillan. “We seem to have lost some hitting in the middle of the order, but our fielding has been better the last couple games.”

Salem’s third loss in the short losing streak was a heartbreaker. Playing at Blacksburg last Thursday, the Spartans trailed 2-1 after six innings before rallying in the top of the seventh. The Salemites had scored twice to take a 3-2 lead and had runners on first and third with one out and reliable Joe Quinn at the plate.

Then the rain came. After 15 minutes of watching it rain the game was called, and since Blacksburg did not bat in the seventh the game reverted to the score after six innings and Salem lost, 2-1.

“We should be able to complete that game,” said an obviously disturbed McMillan. “They didn’t even cover the plate or the mound. They didn’t want to play. Their athletic director even said we should complete the game but their coach didn’t want to.”

Landon Hudson pitched a solid game for the Spartans but took the loss. He’s become a solid option on a Spartan staff that has leaned heavily on senior Austin, who took the mound Friday as Salem beat Pulaski, 7-2.

Trevor pitched a seven inning complete game at Kiwanis Field Friday, allowing no earned runs and walking none. Riley Fox supplied the offense with threes hits, including a pair of doubles to the ally, and four runs batted in. Hudson also had two hits and drove in a run and Noah Beckley had an RBI.

On Tuesday in Christiansburg Austin was back on the mound for a 4-1 win over the Blue Demons. He pitched another complete game as he improved his season record to 5-1. Trevor has an earned run average of 0.57 for the season.

Salem’s offense did just enough for a win in this one. Fox scored twice and Jacob Dodd and Beckley scored one run each as the Spartans improved to 11-3 on the season.

Weather permitting, the Salemites are back in action today with a game at Patrick Henry. Blacksburg returns the trip Friday and next Tuesday Cave Spring comes here.