By David Wheeler/Special to the NEMS Daily Journal
SALTILLO – So far in this young baseball season, the Amory Panthers and Saltillo Tigers had split a pair of 1-0 contests.
On Thursday, the visiting Panthers cranked up their offense to avert another close decision.
Amory pitcher Destin Hahn delivered seven strong innings while the Panthers’ bats posted 14 hits en route to a 7-1 victory in action at the Saltillo Spring Classic.
“Destin did a real good job of locating,” Amory head coach Chad Williams said. “And he didn’t throw as many pitches after the first inning.
“It finally feels good to have good pitching and good hitting in the same game.”
Hahn scattered four hits in his complete-game effort, not allowing a run until the bottom of the seventh inning on an A.J. Rye double and Tory Gifford single. Saltillo did advance a runner to at least second base in every inning.
Meanwhile, the Amory offense scored runs in the second, third, fifth, and seventh frames, with leadoff batter Tanner Poole collecting four hits on the evening.
Cory Murphy had an RBI hit in the second to get Amory (5-2) on the board. That was followed in the third with RBI hits by Hahn and Jake Childs.
Childs had another run-scoring hit in the fifth, with Amory tacking on its final runs in the top of the seventh thanks to hits by Murphy and Poole.
“We had runners at second base every inning, and if we had scored those runs, it would have been 7-7,” Saltillo head coach Johnny Bolen said. “We don’t seem to be able to do it when it counts.”
This was the third game that Saltillo pitcher Gifford had started against Amory, lasting through four innings in this outing. Hahn also has started all three of the Amory-Saltillo matchups this season.
Amory has a nice challenge today in the Saltillo tournament, facing North Pontotoc at 2 p.m., and Houston at 4 p.m.