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Cougars upset undefeated Salem

By Rodney Young



Playing on a bright and sunny afternoon, the Pulaski County Cougars rained on the previously undefeated Salem Spartans parade by handing them a 5-4 defeat.


With the game tied at 4-4 going into the bottom of the seventh with one out on the board, the Cougars got a double from Chris Remington. Salem then intentionally walked Bailey Ayers to set up a potential double play.  Jonathan Minnick stepped and hit a pop fly for the second out.


Senior Braeden Blevins step in to the batter’s box next and worked his way to a full count. With the runners moving on the next pitch Blevins hit a long fly ball over the left fielder’s head that bounced off the fence for the walk-off victory.


Salem took the early lead in the second inning scoring a run off Cougar starter Kellen Dalton.


Pulaski County (7-6,2-4) tied the contest in the bottom of the second when Hunter Shrewsbury hit into a fielder’s choice. He moved to second on a walk by Austin Gallimore and scored on a single and a Salem error.


The Spartans (11-1) answered with two runs in the third when Joe Quinn doubled and then scored on a Cougar error. Austin Sowers knocked in another run to take a 3-1 lead.


Jon Osteen started the bottom of the fifth with a single and advanced to second on a Remington single. After a Salem balk, both runners moved up to second and third. Ayers hit a sharp single to center to knock in Osteen. Senior Jonathan Minnick sent a shot to third that took a high hop over the third baseman for a double, bringing in both Remington and Ayers to give the Cougar their first lead, 4-3. Dalton, who pitched five strong innings, was taken out of the game after he had scattered eight hits and surrendered three runs, one earned.


Salem faced Remington in the top of the sixth and tied the game on a walk and back to back errors before the Cougars came through with an exciting bottom of the seventh and their first win over Salem in at least four years.


“I’m so proud of how the guys battled and fought today,“ Cougar Head Coach Jared King said. “I can’t say enough about how Kellen (Dalton) pitched. He once again gave us a chance to win the game. We got huge hits from not only Blevins, but Minnick and Remington and Ayers. This was a heck of a high school baseball game. It probably was fun to sit and watch it!“


The Cougars hit the road again as they travel to Roanoke to play Patrick Henry today. They return home Monday, May 7, when they host Christiansburg. Game time is set for 5 p.m.



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