By David Wheeler/NEMS Daily Journal
SALTILLO – Saltillo baseball coach Johnny Bolen was glad on Monday that his hitters finally showed some patience at the plate.
Bolen was glad to use sophomore pitcher Blake Wiggington for more innings than he originally planned.
And, he was glad to chalk up a win.
A three-run home run by Chase Hill helped the Tigers overcome an early lead, and Wiggington made the comeback stand up as Saltillo handed the Belmont Cardinals their first loss of the season, 5-4.
“I wasn’t going to throw Blake Wiggington but two innings,” said Bolen, who inserted the sophomore in the top of the third inning. “He said he felt great, and we weren’t going to pull him.”
Both teams scored all their runs by the fourth inning, so it was a very active beginning of the contest.
Belmont (8-1) scored a pair of runs in the second and third innings, beginning in the second with doubles by Zack Carpenter and Alexander Fancher helping to plate the runs.
A solo home run by freshman Luke Alexander and an RBI double by Phillip Armstrong pushed across runs in the third.
Hill helped Saltillo (5-5) respond in the bottom of the third with his three-run shot to center. The Tigers then edged into the lead in the fourth on a two-run single by Cosby Repult.
“We had to be patient at the plate, and it took us a couple of innings to get to their starter,” Bolen said of the Tigers effort against Belmont starter Alexander. “It was good for us to get the win against him, and Belmont has a good club.”
Alexander (3-1), the Belmont starter went three and a third innings, allowing seven hits. In relief for Saltillo, Wiggington went four and third innings, allowing no hits.