By Brian Hoffman (Photos by Barry Cox)
The Salem High baseball team dropped a 5-1 game to James Wood on Tuesday as their season came to an end in the state quarterfinal round. Salem finished the season with a 17-7 record and the Colonels improved to 21-5 and advance to the state Class 4 semifinals in Spotslyvania County on Friday.
“They’re a good team
,” said Salem coach Wes McMillan. “They play small ball like us and they don’t make a lot of mistakes.”
Salem had just two hits in the game, a first inning single by Caleb Furmage and an RBI single by Trace Monroe in the third that plated Salem’s only run. That gave the Spartans an early lead, but the Colonels tied the game in the bottom of the inning, then put
four on the board in the bottom of the sixth. Trent Judd got the start for Salem and pitched into the sixth inning before Eli Bowery relieved.
Salem went to Winchester to play James Wood as the Region 4D runner-up after falling to Jefferson Forest in the region final last week, 2-1 in Forest. The Cavaliers scored a walk-off win in the bottom of the seventh after Salem tied the game in the top of the inning.
Jefferson Forest scored a first inning unearned run to take the lead and after that Judd shut down the Cavaliers on three total hits, fanning four and walking none. Still, the Spartans trailed 1-0 into the seventh before Hunter Bayne singled in Camden Hart, who was pinch running.
Bowery relieved Judd in the bottom of the seventh and got just one out, on a strikeout, before the Cavs scored an unearned run on two Salem errors to win the game. Between them Judd and Bowery allowed four hits, no earned runs, no walks and struck out five.
“Trent pitched a heck of a ballgame, he should have won it,” said Salem coach Wes McMillan.
Bayne’s single was just the second hit of the game for Salem. Ben Bowers singled for the other hit and was caught stealing as the Spartans sent just 25 batters to the plate in seven innings, four more than the minimum possible.
“We didn’t hit the ball in the last two games and that really hurt us,” said McMillan.