Special to the Journal
SALTILLO – There’s less than two weeks before division play begins for many teams in high school baseball.
And head coaches are beginning to pencil in answers to questions about their squads, like Brian Long of Itawamba AHS, whose Indians penciled in an 8-3 victory on Thursday over the Saltillo Tigers in a time-limited five-inning game.
“Our pitching was good, with Logan Brown doing a good job,” Long said. “Offensively, our guys did a good job taking bad pitches, taking a pitch until they got one to hit.”
Itawamba (5-4) jumped on the scoreboard right away, posting a five-spot in the top of the first. With two out, Andrew McDonald, Foster McNeese, and Hunter Sheffield each had run-scoring hits to get the momentum in the Indians favor.
Saltillo (4-3) was keeping abreast of the situation early, posting three runs of its own in the bottom of the inning. A leadoff double by A. J. Rye propelled the Tigers, with runs crossing the plate on an error, wild pitch, and sacrifice fly.
Brown settled down the rest of the way for the Indians, backed by a defense that turned double plays to end innings in the fourth and fifth frames. Saltillo also had base runners tagged out at third base in the first and second innings.
“We made a lot of mistakes,” veteran Saltillo coach Johnny Bolen said. “We’re not doing the little things.
“We’ve got two more games this week, and four next week before division play. We’ve got two or three guys that can throw, we’re just trying to find some more.”
The Indians tacked on three insurance runs in the top of the fourth inning, scoring on a sac fly, a wild pitch, and an RBI hit by McDonald, who had three hits on the day.
Saltillo used four pitchers on the day. Rye and Xan Reese each had two hits for Saltillo, including a double each.