Salmen pitcher Jeff Crenshaw knows a thing or two about tough-luck losses. The senior left-hander entered Friday’s District 8-4A game against Pearl River with a 3-3 record, despite having a 0.57 ERA.
Pearl River was the latest team to edge past Crenshaw and the Spartans.
With an outstanding performance by their own starting pitcher Daniel Charbonnet, the Rebels took advantage of three Salmen errors to defeat the Spartans 2-0 at Pearl River.
Charbonnet came out on top in the pitchers’ dual. The senior right-hander allowed only two hits in 6.1 innings. He struck out six and walked four.
“He hasn’t had his best stuff all year long, but he brought it tonight,” Pearl River coach Steve Bullock. said “Tonight was kind of a reversal of (Tuesday’s 4-0 loss to Salmen.) We made four errors the other day, and they made a few today. Both pitching staffs are good. We knew that going in. (Salmen coach Brian) Babin and I talked and joked that if both staffs threw like they were capable of, we might play a 20-inning game.”
Pearl River (12-4, 5-1) took the lead in the bottom of the first when leadoff hitter Dylan Kavanaugh walked, moved to second on a groundball by Austin Frierson, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a passed ball to put the Rebels ahead 1-0.
The Rebels had a chance to put more runs on the board in the second, when Charbonnet reached on an error and Chandler Moore doubled to right. But a courtesy runner was thrown out at home on a botched squeeze play, and Crenshaw (3-4) struck out the next two batters to end the threat.
Salmen (11-8, 3-1) looked as if it would score in the fourth, after getting leadoff walks from Zach Lane and Bryce Darby. Cole Jackson laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners, but Charbonnet (4-0) forced a weak grounder and a strikeout to keep the Spartans off the scoreboard.
Pearl River added a run in the fifth, when Preston Ryan and Chase Fals walked. Daniel Dugas knocked an infield single to load the bases, and Charbonnet hit a ball to third base that was booted, which allowed courtesy runner Ethan Martensson to score.
That was more than enough scoring for Charbonnet, though, he did give way to Dugas with one out in the seventh and a runner on base. Salmen’s Troy Faciane lined a single to left off Dugas to give Salmen two runners on with two outs, but he was thrown out trying to steal second to end the game.
Charbonnet said he felt sharp before Friday’s game started. He was glad his best pitching of the year came against a key district rival.
“I felt good,” he said. “I had my team behind me, backing me up in the field. We knew we had to get this win. It’s a big win for us.”
Crenshaw struck out 10 and surrendered three hits and walked four.