MT. VERNON —
The host Wildcats rallied past Mt. Vernon's baseball team 6-4 Tuesday.
Mt. Vernon led throughout their opening game of the season, but Salem scored four times in the final three innings to beat the Rams.
The Rams were senior loaded last season but started three sophomores in this year's opener.
“It's going to be a while before we figure out who does what well in game situations,” Mt. Vernon coach Tim Holloway said.
The two teams traded runs early in the game before Mt. Vernon surged ahead 4-2 in the fourth inning. Blake Jones drew a one-out walk. Ryan Campbell moved him to third with a double. Zach Brookman pushed Jones home with an RBI groudout that put the Rams up 3-2. Campbell later trotted home after a Salem wild pitch.
Brock Fulkerson started the game on the mound for the Rams. The senior hurler pitched four innings but struggled at times to find the strike zone. Fulkerson ended with five walks and also hit a batter.
“Brock battled, but we just couldn't find that zone,” Holloway said. “We tried and tried and never could find the zone. We gave up a lot of freebies today, lot of walks. It was a struggle to find the zone.”
Mt. Vernon's defense finished with four errors, and a pair of Salem runners scored after passed balls.
“We're going to keep trying to get better, clean up our mistakes,” Holloway said. “We have a whole new team out here that a lot of them they got their first varsity at-bats today. There was a lot of new things going on out here today.”
Down 4-2 in the fifth, Salem drew a run closer after a Rams error. The Wildcats surge to their first lead of the game when Wyatt McGhee knocked a two-run single to give Salem a 5-4 edge in the fifth.
Mt. Vernon is 0-1 this season and hosts Pinckneyville today.
“Guys, they're going to need varsity at-bats,” Holloway said. “They're going to need to be in situations. They're going to need to get comfortable. As long as we keep improving, that's what I'm concerned with. We'll find out in the next couple weeks if we can keep improving.”