Saltillo Tigers tame Amory

BY CRAIG-ELLIS SASSER
Special to the Daily Journal

FULTON – Sometimes it doesn't hurt to start off slow.

It worked for Saltillo Monday as the Tigers defeated the Amory Panthers 11-6 at ICC's John Crubaugh Field
at the ICC Baseball Challenge.

In the 11 o'clock game, Hamilton defeated Mantachie 10-0 in five innings. Hamilton spread their runs out against the Mustangs, scoring in each inning.

The Lion's Tyler Fremdgren led off the bottom of the first with a home run that set the tone for Hamilton. That, and the Mustang's defense, helped Hamilton's cause.

Mantachie committed five costly errors in the game. Three of those came in the bottom of the second that gave Hamilton three runs in the frame.

Hamilton's Cliff Sanders and Spencer McCartney both had doubles and EJ Nolen legged out a triple for the

Lions, while Reed Jones picked up the win on the mound.

Ivan Collier was the only Mantachie player with multiple hits. He had double and a single.

The Itawamba AHS Indians defeated Tupelo 5-1 in the late game. IAHS got all five runs in the second inning on three hits. Ty Crane started the inning by taking a pitch off his thigh. Things didn't get much better for Tupelo in the inning. Three walks and three hits later, Tupelo trailed 5-0 and never climbed out of that hole.

Tupelo's lone run came in the top of the seventh on a single by short stop GT McCullough that scored Evan Weibel, who reached base on a walk from IAHS pitcher
Jordan Steele.

Saltillo (8-1) took advantage of Amory errors early in the game by picking up a run in each of the first two innings. After that things slowed down as Amory pitcher Trey King and Saltillo's Mitchell Herring both
found his rhythm on the mound.

King coaxed Tiger hitters to swing at breaking balls
on the outside half of the plate in the third and
fourth. As a result, 5 of 6 Saltillo outs in the those
innings came from fly balls to the right side of the
field.

The Saltillo hitters took stock of the situation in
the fifth and touched King for five runs.

“We started off slow but came around in the fifth and
sixth,” said Saltillo coach Johnny Bolen. “We started
taking the ball to the opposite field. We did the same
thing Saturday against Houston, but we couldn't win.”

He's referring to Saltillo's lone loss of the season
that came last Saturday against Houston.

Saltillo put up five hits and five runs in the fifth
inning. Catcher Jacob Smith had a big two out double
that drove in two runs. Middle infield combo. Scott
Fleming and JP Young had RBI singles in the inning,
and Davis Lindsey also drove in a run with a single.

The Tigers picked up four more runs in the sixth.

Scott Fleming had a two RBI single and Justin Rhudy
had an RBI double. Fleming finished 2 for 4 with three
RBIs.

Amory couldn't put any offense together against
Mitchell Herring. Though the Panthers had seven hits
against Saltillo, it couldn't get any timely hits to score runs.

Four of Amory's six runs came from two home runs.

Pitcher Trey King had a 2-run shot in the fifth and Brian Pearson hit a 2-run bomb in the seventh.

“We're hitting the ball well, but we're still making mental and physical errors,” said Amory coach Chad
Williams. “You can't compete against the caliber of
teams like Saltillo when you have those mistakes.”

Saltillo faces a long time rival today against Tupelo
at 5p.m. It's something that Bolen is looking
forward to.

“Expect a good game against Tupelo. Most of the kids
know each other,” said Bolen. “We're glad to get to
play them over here at ICC.”