Don’t let the Salmen Spartans' sub-.500 record fool you.
Thursday afternoon, coach Brian Babin’s squad defeated rival Lakeshore 8-5 to capture the District 8-4A crown.
It was Salmen's second win over Lakeshore this week. The Spartans (14-16, 7-1) defeated Lakeshore 2-0 on Tuesday.
“We were able to play our style of game,” Babin said. “The small things worked and then you look up and we are district champs. We took some lumps early this season because we are young. We lost 12 seniors from the varsity squad last season. Hats off to our guys for playing well.”
Trailing 4-0 heading into the sixth inning of Thursday's game, Salmen sent 12 batters to the plate, scoring eight runs on four hits.
Chad DeGruy led off with a walk and Nick Talamo was hit by a pitch. After both runners moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Joey Smith, DeGruy scored on a throwing error, cutting the lead to 4-1. Cole Jackson was then hit by a pitch to load the bases.
Bryce Nicaud drove in a run with a walk to make it 4-2 and Chase Kitchens tied the score with a two-run single.
The Spartans took the lead for good at 5-4 on a picture perfect bunt single by Mickeyren Bentley. Another Lakeshore error and a two-run single by DeGruy in his second at-bat of the inning made it 8-4.
“We didn’t want to share this district title,” Kitchens said. “We don’t like sharing, so we knew we had a job to do and we were able to come out here and do it. It’s a great feeling to be district champions.”
Lakeshore (19-13, 5-3) held a 4-0 lead through the first five innings. The Titans scored a pair of runs in the fourth inning on an RBI fielder’s choice by Cameron Bucy and an RBI single by Matthew Sauber. J.T. Singletary and Christian Westcott drove in runs in the fifth inning.
Talamo was the winning pitcher for the Spartans; he allowed three runs in three innings of relief. Westcott took the loss for Lakeshore, allowing four runs in 1.2 innings.