Six Home Runs Power Wheeling Past Salem
Salem, W. Va. – The Wheeling University Baseball team (3-8, 0-0) continued their strong offensive showing in Salem, West Virginia on Saturday when they defeated host Salem University 16-6. After scoring 20 runs in Friday's game against Alderson Broaddus, the Cardinals came back and pounded six home runs, including two three-run shots, as they took down the Tigers for their second straight victory.
Senior Logan Pillars got the start and earned his second win of the season to move to 2-1 overall. He started his day off with a scoreless first inning and faced just four batters in the bottom of the second to keep it a 0-0 game after two innings. However, the Tigers finally got to him in the bottom of the third, when they put up two runs and took a 2-0 lead. With the Cardinals down, the offense got to work in the top of the fourth with two outs. Chris Iazzetta drew a two-out walk before a single by Garth Charlton put Wheeling in business. Connor Watt came to the plate and picked up his teammates with a towering three-run home run that gave the Cardinals a 3-2 lead, one that wouldn't give up the rest of the way.
As the game moved to the top of the fifth, Wheeling just continued to add on as they put up a four-spot to make it a 7-2 game. Blake Vandiver walked with one out in the inning and got into scoring position when he stole second base. He wasn't there for long as Riley Cameron came up and lifted his third home run of the season, a two-run shot, over the centerfield wall. Wheeling took advantage of some free bases courtesy of the walk and had two on for Charlton with two outs. He found the gap and brought home two runs to bring Wheeling's lead to 7-2 and gave Charlton his second hit of the day. However, the inning would end there as he was thrown out trying to advance to third, but his team was staked to a five-run lead.
With the lead comfortably in his favor, Pillars began to settle in with 1-2-3 fourth and fifth innings as the offense just kept scoring. In the sixth, the Cardinals were at it again when Anthony May doubled with one out to put a runner in scoring position. Jack Skantze followed it up with a two-run home run, the third Cardinal home run of the game, which made it a 9-2 game. Vandiver came up next with another single and Cameron hit his second home run of the game that put Wheeling out to an 11-2 lead after five and a half innings of play. Pillars would allow one more run in the bottom of the sixth to make it 11-3 but finished up a solid outing. He went 6.0 innings allowing the three runs on six hits while walking two and striking out five.
The Cardinals added two more home runs in the game to wrap up the scoring, one in the eighth and one-ninth. In the eighth, J.R. Heavilin lifted his first bomb of the season, a two-run shot, and in the ninth, it was Anthony May lifting the final blow on a three-run shot that made it a 16-3 Wheeling advantage. Hayden Scudder pitched a scoreless two innings, allowing one hit and striking out a batter, and Daniel Worley ended the game in the ninth. Salem was able to put up three runs in that inning, but it wasn't enough as Wheeling came out on top 16-6. It was Wheeling's second straight regional win as they moved to 3-8 on the young season.
There was a lot of offense to go around for the Cardinals as five players finished with multiple hits and two had three-hit games. Riley Cameron led the way, going 3-5 with two home runs, three RBI, and three runs scored. Garth Charlton also went 3-5, but drive in two runs and hit a double in the effort. Anthony May, Jack Skantze, and Blake Vandiver each had two hits in the game to round out Wheeling's multi-hit attack. May tied for the team lead with three RBI and Vandiver scored two runs while reaching base three times. The Cardinals pounded out 15 hits and drew seven walks in the game. They have now scored 36 runs in their last two games and look to keep adding on.