SALEM, OH- The boxscore will tell you a story that Salem cruised through this game on the way to District play, but the backstory will tell you much more. Salem’s Ace, Lane Rhodes, was once again masterful on the bump, throwing a complete-game shutout of his former conference rival en route to a 7-1 victory on Wednesday.
However, it took a while for either side of the field to get comfortable in this one as Louisville’s Tyler Jackson went toe to toe with Rhodes through the majority of this game, the difference being that Salem was able to take advantage of runners in scoring position while the Leopards left 8 runners stranded throughout the contest.
Offensively, Darius Beck was on another level- going 2-3 on the night with 4 RBI. More impressively though, Beck held the Leopards to just a pair of stolen bags on the basepaths. Gavin Wilms was also clutch with an RBI double to seal the deal in the sixth inning. Blaize Exline would lead the Quakers at the dish, going 3 for 3, and scoring each time he was on.
Rhodes went the distance on the mound for Salem- fanning 11 Leopard batters, and scattering five hits while giving up only one run (unearned) on the night.
Tyler Jackson for Louisville went five innings, giving up 4 runs on 6 hits (2 earned) and striking out five. Jackson showed great command for Louisville as he didn’t walk a single hitter in his start. Tony Brahler came in from the bullpen for an inning and struck out one.
JT Popick would be the key offensive player for the Leopards going 2-4 with an RBI double and stole a pair of bases.
With the victory, Salem will play Niles at 1 pm Monday against Niles for a ticket to the District Championship. You can see that game on YSNLive.com