Our base running was much improved, and our bats are starting to come along.
Chris Youngblood gave up a base hit and a walk before settling down to strike out nine of the next 10 Timbo Tigers he faced to lead Salem to a 15-1 victory in their home opener March 14.At the plate for the Greyhounds, sophomore Jake Bontrager went three for three with two doubles, and fellow sophomore Woody Harlow cracked a 2-run homer.After starting the top of the first by giving up a base hit and walk, Youngblood, a senior right-hander for Salem, stuck out the next three Tigers he faced."Chris did what we asked him to do. He threw strikes and struck out nine of the 12 batters he faced," said Salem Head Coach Wayne Guiltner.Youngblood got things going at the plate for Salem in the bottom of the first as he smacked a liner through the legs of the Timbo third-baseman. Youngblood advanced to third on two Timbo errors and later scored on a wild pitch.The Greyhounds crossed the plate three times in the bottom of the first for a 3-0 lead.Only one Tiger reached base in the second, courtesy of a walk, but was left stranded.The Greyhounds notched two more runs in the second as senior Tate Zeigler slammed a triple to the outfield fence.The Timbo hitters never moved the bats off their shoulders in the third as Youngblood struck out the side, to finish with nine for the game.The Greyhound offense exploded in the third, as they batted around, scoring 10 runs.Bontrager started things off with his second double of the game.Harlow followed with a shot over the left-center fence.Junior Duane Slagley and senior Cody Curtis had a single apiece.Senior Mark Allen brought them home with a double that rolled to the fence.When the bottom of the third ended, the Greyhounds led 15-0.Junior Jason Brown came in relief of Youngblood and allowed a run as the Greyhounds cruised to the 15-1 win."Our base running was much improved," said Coach Guiltner."Our bats are starting to come along," he added.The Greyhounds return to conference play March 21 with a home double-header with Maynard.