Quakers stay ablaze with win vs. Beavers

SALEM-Fresh off its first victory of the season Monday, the Salem baseball team was anxious to repeat the winning feeling.

The Quakers wasted little time jumping on Beaver Local, scoring six runs in the first two innings en route to an 8-0 win Wednesday at Salem High School.

It is the second straight win for the Quakers, who improve to 2-10 overall. Beaver Local drops to 6-7.

“We are starting to come together as a team,” Salem sophomore Keaton Turney said. “At the plate we are doing a better job of moving runners over on the bases and getting them in. We aren’t making as many mental mistakes.”

Turney sparked the Quakers with his pitching and hitting, collecting three singles and four RBIs at the plate, while also working through multiple jams on the mound to hurl a complete-game shutout.

“Keaton had a couple of rough stretches where he got a little anxious and couldn’t find the strike zone, but each time he settled himself down and began throwing strikes,” Salem coach Gary Martin said. “We helped him out a lot defensively, too.”

Salem got right down to business in the first inning against Beaver Local starter Chandler Cornell. After a leadoff walk by Alex Weikart, Branson Wilms followed with a single and Andrew Robbins hit a two-run double to the fence in centerfield. Turney followed two batter later with an RBI single to make it 3-0.

After Cornell loaded the bases with two walks and a hit batter in the second, Turney made him pay with a two-run single, boosting the lead to 6-0.

“We did a nice job of sitting back at the plate and being aware of the strike zone,” Martin said. “We attacked and got ahead early.”

“They hit it hard, but we helped them out a little bit early,” Beaver Local coach Steve Dawson said. “We had some mental errors in the field and had a hard time finding the strike zone.”

In Turney’s last start versus Sandy Valley on Saturday, he pitched effectively early on before falling apart in the middle innings. It looked like he could be headed for the same fate Wednesday as the Beavers loaded the bases with one out in the fourth. However, after a conference on the mound, Turney escaped trouble in the blink of an eye when Cornell hit a double-play comebacker to the mound. Turney then wiggled out of a two-on one-out threat in the fifth to keep the Quakers comfortably ahead.

“It felt a little like my last start but luckily we got out of trouble tonight,” Turney said. “(Catcher) Andrew Robbins did a great job of coming out and talking to me and keeping me calm.”

“Baseball is all about timely hitting,” Dawson said. “And we weren’t very good at bringing runners home tonight.”

The Quakers momentum will be put to a serious test tomorrow when they host Marlington, one of the top contenders in the Northeaster Buckeye Conference. Beaver Local is at West Branch Friday.

“We are a better team than our record shows,” Salem coach Gary Martin said. “The last two games we’ve cleaned up a lot of our mental mistakes. We have to stay at this level from here on out.”

Game notes

Beaver Local has now been shut out in its last two games.

“We’ve hit a wall,” Dawson said. “We aren’t hitting the ball like we need to and things aren’t falling into place.”

BL: 0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-4-2

SA: 3-3-0-0-1-1-x-8-8-1

SA-Keaton Turney, wp, (7IP, 3K, 4BB) and Andrew Robbins.

BL-Chandler Cornell, lp, (7IP, 5K, 5BB) and Trevor McLaughlin.