By Paul Hines
SALEM — The Rams baseball team used a late-offense rally to beat Decatur St. Teresa 3-2 Friday.
“We'll take what we can get right now,” Mt. Vernon coach Tim Holloway said. “We showed some fight late. We had some guys have quality at-bats that were getting their first ab-bats today, so that's a positive.”
Mt. Vernon's offense struggled to capitalize on a half dozen errors from Decatur, but the Rams bats came alive late with two runs in the sixth to claim the victory.
“As many times as they made mistakes in the field, we couldn't capitalize so that was frustrating, it's something that we're just going to have to keep trying to figure out the right combination before we get into (South Seven) Conference season next week,” Holloway said. “And I feel like we're still taking steps forward.”
Mt. Vernon's Tyler Morgan silenced the Bulldogs' bats for most of Friday's game. The senior hurler threw six innings and allowed five hits. He finished with nine strikeouts.
Down 2-1 in the sixth inning, Mt. Vernon struck.
Thomas Weber started the inning with his second hit of the game and raced to second after the ball skipped past the St. Teresa left fielder.
Jake Pike moved Weber's pinch runner Braden Smith to third with a sacrifice bunt. The next batter Darick Hayes dropped down a safety squeeze bunt, and Smith raced home to tie the game at two.
Hayes was later caught stealing, but with two outs Morgan ignited another rally with his bat. Morgan knocked a single and moved to second on an error.
Sam Storment stepped to the plate and rapped a single. Morgan ran around third and slid past a tag from catcher Kurtis Minton.
Connor Storey pitched the final inning for the Rams and recorded a save.
“With so many games coming up, we're going to need all of our pitchers to throw strikes,” Holloway said. “Connor came in and pounded the zone. He was facing the bottom of the order and what he needed to do was throw strikes. And he did a good job of that.”
Mt. Vernon is 2-2-1 this season and travels to Mattoon for a doubleheader today.