The Salem High baseball team is off to a good start with three wins to open the season. The Spartans will go for four in a row today when they play William Byrd in Vinton at 5 pm.
The Spartans opened the season at home against the Terriers last Friday and took a 1-0 win in a classic pitchers’ duel. Trevor Austin got the opening day start for Salem and shut out the Terriers for six innings before Hunter Clifton came on for the save to complete the shutout.
Jacob Dodd drove in Salem’s only run as Salem took a 1-0 lead into the seventh. However, Byrd loaded the bases with no outs before Bryce Booth flew out to shallow center and the runners held.
Byrd’s Max Kinney was up next with one out and the sacks still loaded. He missed on a bunt attempt and Salem catcher John Stover got the runner on third in a rundown. After that runner was tagged out the runner on second tried to advance to third and he was thrown out for the final out of the game.
“It was a wild finish,” said Salem coach Wes McMillan. “Trevor pitched a good ballgame. He’d been sick and he was out of school two days last week, but he really battled.”
Salem was back in action at William Fleming Monday and took a 14-0 win. Freshman Zian Honaker picked up his first varsity win with three innings of work and Jake Aldridge pitched the last three, each giving up one hit.
Vincent Pinello led Salem with a three-for-four day, including a double. Dodd had a triple among his two hits, Joe Quinn had a double and a single and Noah Beckley had two hits and three stolen bases.
On Tuesday Salem made it three in a row with an 8-2 win over Lord Botetourt at Kiwanis Field. Clifton picked up the win in relief of Conner Mitchell as Salem came from 2-1 down to score seven times in the bottom of the sixth. Landon Hudson had the tying hit and Beckley drove in two runs to put the Spartans ahead. Beckley, Stover and Pinello had two hits each.
Austin will be back on the mound today at Byrd, and Salem will stay busy next week. Fleming is here Monday for a game at Kiwanis Field, followed by a home game with Patrick Henry on Tuesday. The Spartans will play their third home game of the week on Friday, March 31, against Christiansburg.