The Salem Greyhounds traveled to Highland March 12 for a junior varsity diamond double-header, with the two squads battling to a 4-all tie in the first game, while the JV Rebels took the nightcap 7-0.
Salem's Brandon Sisler, just four days removed from having a pin taken out of his broken (non-throwing) hand, turned in a gritty performance on the mound for the JV Greyhounds, striking out nine Highland batters, while giving up six hits in the first four of the five-inning game.
Sisler's counterpart on the mound for Highland, Kolby King, fanned three while allowing four hits.
The JV Hounds struck first, racking up four runs in the top of the second, although in junior varsity games, a team is allowed a maximum of three runs per inning to count on the scoreboard.
Joe Fowler slammed a single down the first-base line to bring Salem's first run home.
One batter later, Josh Sisler stepped in the box and knocked in Chad Willet with a base hit.
Josh Bontrager capped off the JV Hounds' scoring with a single that was good for two RBIs, giving Salem a 3-0 lead.
Highland responded in the home half of the second by picking up a run on two hits.
Aaron Ramsdell blasted a hard shot that lined off Sisler's injured hand, but the tough Hound shook it off and remained on the mound.
After Ramsdell swiped second base, Joe Herum brought him home with a hit up the middle of the box, to make it 3-1, Salem, after two innings.
King retired the JV Greyhounds in order in the top of the third, and Sisler responded in kind to the Highland hitters in the bottom of the frame.
Highland did post three runs in the home half of the fourth, moving in front 4-3.
Singles by King and Jeremy Hansen started the JV Rebels off, but King wasn't on base long as he stole second and later swiped home, to post Highland's second run of the evening.
Nick Poulsen slugged a single up the middle that plated Hansen, and then Chase Duggins slammed a triple that was good for an RBI, putting the JV Rebels on top 4-3 after four.
The contest ended with each team showing four runs on the scoreboard as Nathan Criss logged Salem's last run of the game, coming home on a balk in the visitor's half of the fifth inning.
Derek Batterton posted a base hit for the JV Greyhounds, with Josh Bontrager recording two RBIs, while Joe Fowler and Josh Sisler added an RBI each.
Aaron Ramsdell, Joe Herum, Kolby King, Jeremy Hansen and Nick Poulsen all rang up singles for Highland, while Chase Duggins added a triple. Herum, Poulsen and Duggins posted an RBI apiece.
In the nightcap, the bat of Aaron Fowler did most of the damage, as he belted a grand slam in Highland's 7-0 win over Salem.
Big lefty Nick Poulsen took the mound for the JV Rebels, while Jake Bontrager, David Kingston, Chad Willet and Kyle Estes all worked an inning each for the JV Greyhounds.
Poulsen rang up seven Ks for the game, while holding Salem scoreless on three hits.
The JV Rebels picked up a pair of runs in the first two innings, before finishing with a big third frame.
Taylor Bolt recorded an RBI for Highland in the bottom of the second, while Ramsdell and Herum added two more RBIs on a pair of doubles in the home half of the second inning.
The JV Rebels put the wraps on the five-inning game in the bottom of the third, scoring five runs, three of those counting on the scoreboard, with a couple of big hits.
Will Cox smoked a double that whizzed by second base, plating Cody Reese for the first JV Rebel RBI of the frame.
After a pair of base-on-balls loaded the sacks, Aaron Fowler dug into the batter's box and hit a big fly to deep left, ringing up a grand slam and four RBIs in the process to give Highland a 7-0 win.
Derek Estes, Wes James and David Kingston all had base hits for Salem.
Chase Duggins logged a base hit for Highland, while Aaron Ramsdell, Joe Herum and Will Cox had a double and RBI apiece, with Aaron Fowler registering four RBIs on his grand slam.