Special to the Grove Sun
JAY-For the third game in a row, the Jay Bulldogs ran into a strong opposing pitcherís performance, the previous two of which had resulted in back-to-back shutouts. And on Thursday, at Trolinger-Haggard Field, Salinaís Dalton Daniels added a no hitter to the home teamís wilting resume.†
Ironically another good effort by Jay starting pitcher, Tyler Buss went by the wayside as a result of a trio of errors and no Bulldog offense.† The Wildcat leadoff batter worked Buss for a walk and promptly stole second.† After getting Bradley Shelly to line out to short, the Bulldog hurler hit Daniels with the pitch and one wild pitch later both runners were in scoring position.† But the Jay southpaw got the next pair of batters down on strikes to get out of trouble.
On the heels of a scoreless second, Salina got a runner on the first, who moved to third on a base hit by Jake Johnson.† But Buss was able to put out the fire and strand another pair of Wildcat runners. The visitors were able to manufacture a run in the top of the fourth when Ty Stewart worked Buss for a leadoff walk, stole second, then moved to third on a sacrifice by Chad Backward.† Stewart strolled in with the go ahead run on Dillon Manchellís long sacrifice fly to center.†
Salina added an unearned run when their leadoff batter reached on a drop third strike and moved to second on an errant throw to first.† Again an infield ground ball advanced the runner to third and a long fly scored him for a 2-0 lead.†
The visitors broke the game open in the sixth when Shelley and Daniels led off with back-to-back singles.† A walk to Stewart loaded the bases and Backward executed the squeeze play to perfection.† A wild pitch scored Shelley and Weston Williamson chased home Stewart with an RBI triple.†
Leading 5-0, the Wildcats used a pair of walks and infield error and a Danielís RBI double to add a pair of insurance runs in the top of the seventh. In the bottom of the final frame Daniels walked Ty Moore for a third time.† But Moore died on second as Daniels wrapped up the no hit shutout.††
In the second game it was the Bulldog defense that opened the door for an early Salina rally.† With Matt Henderson on the hill for the home team, the Wildcats first two batters reached base on infield errors.
The first runner scored on Stewarts double and the next crossed the plate on a Williamson single that advanced Stewart to third.† Williamson broke for second and was cut down by the J.J. Meeker throw.† But a heads up Stewart made a late break for home that befuddled the Jay defense and allowed him to score.
Stewart then took the mound for his team and put the Bulldogs down in order.† Salina picked up another run in their half of the second as the result of a leadoff walk, a stolen base and a Johnson double.†
Down 4-0, Jayís 21-inning scoring drought finally came to an end when Buss led off the bottom of the second with a double and moved to third on a hit by Brett Pritchett.† Buss crossed the plate on a clutch two-out RBI hit off the bat of Garrett Mack.†
Three more hits and another Bulldog error saw Stewart, Backward and Williamson all touch home in the top of the third to extend their lead to a half a dozen.† Jay scratched out another run in the bottom of the inning when Jeremy Dunham led off with a single, moved to third on Hendersonís subsequent base hit and scored on a throwing error by the Salina catcher.
But that would be the last hurrah for the Bulldog offense. Another trio of Wildcat base hits and a hit batsman saw the visitors hang three more on the scoreboard as Salina rolled to the 10-2 win and doubleheader sweep.
Jay and Salina will meet again in the opening round of pool play in the end of the season tournament on Tuesday at 2:30.† Following the Jay game, Grove will take on Vinita at 5:00, with Chelsea versus Vinita scheduled for a 7:00 start.