By Mike Talbert
Saltillo sophomore Jason Dickey had the frustration of missing his second no-hit bid in a week eased a little.
A seven-run explosion in the bottom of the sixth clinched the Saltillo Tigers’ 9-1 win over Mantachie in the third game of the Saltillo Spring Classic Friday.
The outburst followed Mantachie first baseman Pat Thompson’s double to the left-center gap with two out in the sixth inning.
Dickey said, “It was frustrating, but I was glad it happened when it did, when there wasn’t anybody on base.”
Only four Mantachie Mustangs reached base, two of them by error.
Adam Lindsay was hit by a pitch with two out in the third, stole second and scored when a Mark Guin fly was dropped by the right fielder for the lone run for Mantachie (6-3-1). That tied the game 1-1. In the fifth, Saltillo’s Jeff Dillard went to third after Mantachie misplayed his single to left. He scored on a Chris Brazeal sacrifice fly to regain the lead 2-1.
Going into the sixth the game was a pitching duel between Dickey (3-1) and Matt Fennell (1-2), who gave up only four hits in the first five innings.
“Both the pitchers threw strikes today and we played pretty good defense,” Saltillo coach Johnny Bolen said. “That is the best day Jason has had this year. But he has been throwing pretty well. He was our ace last year as a freshman.”
Dickey said that he started out throwing mostly fastballs, but as he saw Mantachie having trouble with his curve and change-up he went to them more.
Dickey led off the seven-run, seven-hit sixth with the first of his two singles. Before it was over Chi Wesson hit a three-run double and Eric Reynolds (3-for-4) hit a two-run single before ending the parade by scoring on an Andy Dillard double.
“We were kind of fortunate,” Dickey said. “We put it away, and we could relax a little.
The game was the third of the day. Baldwyn took advantage of six Shannon errors to overcome a 5-0 deficit to win 8-6.
Itawamba AHS pitcher Jamie Rock struck out nine batters to beat Saltillo 3-0. Rock walked only one and limited Saltillo to two hits, including a double by losing pitcher Bill Diggs.
“Our pitchers have been doing their jobs,” Bolen said, “But we haven’t been scoring many runs. Maybe that big inning broke us out of it.”
SALTILLO 9, MANTACHIE 0
Mantachie 001 000 0 1 1 3
Saltillo 100 017 x 9 11 2
WP – Jason Dickey (3-1). LP – Matt Fennell (1-2). Multiple Hits – (S) Jeff Dillard 2, Eric Reynolds 3, Dickey 2. 2B – (M) Pat Thompson; (S) J. Dillard, Andy Dillard, Chi Wesson. Records: Mantachie 6-3-1, Saltillo 6-5.