SALEM, OH- The Salem baseball team won their sectional semi-final game against Struthers in Salem on Tuesday to get their 10th home victory of the season and 6th in a row overall.
The Quakers have had to come from behind to win the last 4 during this streak. Tuesday night was no exception. Sophomore starter Lane Rhodes gave up a run in the first and 3 more in the second to stake the Wildcats to an early 4-0 lead.
Freshman Blaize Exline would get the Quakers on the board in the bottom of the second when he reached on an error by the shortstop that scored junior Joey Watson from 3rd.
After both teams traded zeros in the third inning, the Quakers would score three in the bottom of the fourth to tie it up on the strength of a 2 out 2 run single by sophomore second basemen Nick Coletta and a wild pitch that would eventually bring Coletta in to score.
Struthers would quickly regain the lead in the top of the 5th when Tomko led off the inning with a single, stole second base and then scored from second on an infield hit.
But the Quakers had another comeback left in them and in the bottom of the 5th inning would strike for 4 runs that would eventually win them the game. An error, bunt base hit, walk and a hit batter would tie the score for Salem and then after senior Adam Wilson went down swinging for the first out of the inning, freshman Blaize Exline riffled a single back up the middle to score two and snatch a 7-5 lead for the Quakers. Salem would add the final run of the inning on a bases-loaded walk to senior Turner Johnson.
Lane Rhodes did the rest as he went the distance for the Quakers allowing 3 earned runs off of 8 hits while striking out 11 Wildcat batters.
The victorious Quakers advance to take on Niles tomorrow in Niles with the first pitch set for 5 o’clock.
*Contributed by Mike DeBarr