Caleb Lingenfelter struck out two batters with the bases loaded on Tuesday as Salem survived a baseball trip to Blacksburg.
The Spartans got out of town with a 5-2 win.
Hunter Tensen pitched the first six innings for Salem to pick up the win, allowing just one earned run. Usually reliable Zion Honaker came on to pitch the seventh but worked his way into a bases loaded jam with one out, and coach Wes McMillan called on Lingenfelter. The senior struck out the next two batters on eight pitches to end the game.
“I felt like Zion was getting squeezed a little bit,” said McMillan. “Caleb did a good job to get us out of that.”
Lingenfelter was also the hitting star with a three-for-four day. Parker Stallard was two-for-three with a two run home run as Salem improved to 13-3 overall.
Tensen was also on the mound for Salem’s 10-0 win over Greenbrier East of West Virginia last week, as the Spartans played a game over spring break at Kiwanis Field. Tensen pitched a complete game in the five-run affair, fanning nine and allowing just two hits. Hunter had been coming out of the bullpen early in the season, but he’s started the past two games. Zion Honaker and Lingenfelter have started most of the games this season.
“He’s been lights out,” said McMillan of Tensen. “I think he does better when he starts. We have three good starters, and you can’t have enough pitching.”
Zac Honaker had three hits against Greenbrier, including two doubles. Stallard had another home run and three runs batted in while Jaden Fetrow and Michael Morrison had two hits each. The defending Class 4 state champs are starting to heat up as the post-season nears.
“We’re playing better defense, but I still don’t think we have the intensity I think we should have,” said McMillan.
Salem was scheduled to return the trip to West Virginia last Friday but that game was rained out. The Spartans were at Hidden Valley Wednesday and they’ll host Cave Spring at Kiwanis Field on Friday evening at 5 pm.