Salem Season Ends at the Hands of Mt. VernonThe Post 128 Junior Legion baseball season came to an end Saturday afternoon in the consolation bracket of the District 23 baseball tournament, losing to Mt. Vernon 5-3.
Mt. Vernon took a 1-0 lead in the first inning and was able to keep Salem off the scoreboard until the third frame. In that inning, Post 128 took a 2-1 lead when Roudey Hensley and Brendan Boles both drew two-out walks and Cole Steward followed with a two-run double to the warning track.
However, Salem gave Mt Vernon the lead back with three defensive miscues in the top of the fourth. Mt Vernon added three hits in the inning and scored four runs.
Salem Head Coach Jeff Malone said the tournament competition is playing at its best, and one bad inning can be costly.
"Here in the last few games, we're just not hitting like we should be, and made some routine mistakes and some errors. And you can't do that in the tournament. Everybody's playing their best. You have one bad inning and, it can come back and get you. And it did."
Salem tried to rally in the seventh when Boles drove in Riley Martin with a two-out double. But Post 128 could get no closer.
Malone talked about Salem's resiliency down the stretch.
"We got a double from Brendan and got a run in and thought we might get something going there with the middle of the lineup coming up. Cole [Steward] battled and had a good at bat. He fouled off two or three pitches. The guy threw him a good pitch low and away and he fouled it off into the catcher's mitt. He battled as hard as he could at the plate to keep it going."
Boles finished 2-3. Dakota McDaneld went 2-3 with a double. Salem had five hits and stranded seven runners on base.
Sedrick Hill suffered the loss for Salem, giving up eight hits in a complete game effort. Hill walked one and struck out one. Only one of Mt Vernon's runs was earned.
Coach Malone knows this was a young group coming in but thought they played well and should be hungry for more baseball.
"If you would have asked me at the beginning of the year about finishing number-two seed in the district and be 24-12, I would have taken that in a heartbeat. As a coach, you're never satisfied. You always think 'we're better than that.' And I think we were. I thought we were better than how we played today or yesterday even yesterday. Now they have a taste of it. I told them, 'that's fine. Keep that taste in your mouth all year. It's not a very good taste. Come back out next year, next spring in high school and next summer and remember that and go win district next year.'"
Post 128 finishes their season 24-12.
See other LocalSports news:N. Illinois sneaks by Bowling Green 54-51 in OT
Cain is perfect for 5 innings but Cubs top Giants
Cabrera 2 homers leads Tigers over Cards 17-5
Illinois' Nunn named to Big Ten All-Freshman team
Cardinals introduce Cuban SS Aledmys Diaz