Wildcats Season Ends in First Round of SW TourneyThe Salem Wildcats committed six errors and were out-hit by O'Fallon en route to a 5-3 loss in the opening round of the Southwest League Tournament.
The defensive miscues spoiled Zach Tate's outing, as the senior-to-be walked one, struck out five, and allowed seven hits while taking the loss.
Salem Head Coach Brian Lipe says Tate deserved better.
"Tate threw well enough to win, we just didn't make plays behind him when we needed to make plays. He threw strikes. [O'Fallon] did a good job of putting them in play. We just didn't make enough plays behind him."
Nick Conklin led Salem at the plate, going 2-4 with a double, and RBI, and a run scored. Tate doubled to lead off the bottom of the first but Salem didn't score until the sixth.Wyatt McGhee and Mason McIntosh also had singles as Salem mustered just five hits. McGhee scored on Conklin's line drive single in the sixth. McIntosh drove Conklin in with a line drive of his own. But Salem stranded the bases loaded to end the sixth.
Getting those runs across is as much mental as physical, and it's the mental side where Lipe thinks most improvement needs to occur in the off-season.
"I think we need to get mentally stronger. We need to have that grit attitude to go in and beat somebody when you have to. I think that is a lesson learned. I think that will carry over to next spring."
Lipe adds that this summer was productive for several players on his team.
"Throughout the summer we saw some really good things from certain guys. Some guys really stepped up and solidified their positions on the team, at least for next year. And some guys made a name for themselves to put themselves in the hunt for some jobs next year."
Salem finishes the Southwest season with a 17-9 record.
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