By David Wheeler/Special to the NEMS Daily Journal
SALTILLO – June high school baseball is all about preparing for the tests in April and May of next year.
Both the Saltillo Tigers and Mooreville Troopers could have their share of exams next spring, and were in a prep session against each other on Monday.
The Tigers aced their portion of the exam, defeating the Troopers 5-1 in seven innings.
“Pitching is our main thing right now,” veteran Saltillo head coach Johnny Bolen said. “They’re just getting their work in, and we’re getting some kids some playing time.”
The Saltillo lineup card on the mound this contest had senior Steven Smith going the first four innings, junior Xan Reese coming out of spring rehab with two solid innings, and Jordan Smith closing out the seventh frame.
The trio limited Mooreville to four hits, with the Troopers not getting a base knock until the sixth inning.
On the board
The Saltillo offense supplied runs in three innings, beginning with a pair in the bottom of the third on an RBI hit by Hunter Hughes and a sacrifice fly by Hayden Elliot. Drew Rhudy supplied an RBI double in the fifth, and Hunter Harlow clinched the game with a two-run hit in the sixth.
Saltillo had opened its summer schedule 4-2-1 in two wooden bat tournaments prior to the Mooreville contest. The Tigers are in Division 2-5A with recently crowned state champion New Hope.
Mooreville is also facing a potentially tough 2014 road, moving from 2-3A to 1-3A, which includes state champion Kossuth.
“It’s all about getting some guys some more innings this time of year,” said Mooreville head coach Derek Thompson, whose Troopers are two-time defending 2-3A champs. “We’re jumping into the AL East (Division 1-3A).
The Troopers will return seven of nine starters, but four missed this contest due to American Legion ball.
Mooreville, which is now 7-1-1 for the summer, plated its lone run in the top of the sixth on a Clay Sudduth RBI hit.