Seven long years. That’s how long it took for Skyline Varsity Baseball to finally best the Saline Hornets again.
Freshman Robert Hammon and senior Alex Gredenich combined to limit the state-ranked Hornets to seven hits in a 4-3 win and the first over Saline since 2014.
The SEC Conference Red Division rivals battled to a 3-3 tie until Skyline pulled ahead in the bottom of the sixth inning. Senior Dayton Stamper lined a double to deep left field with one out. Sophomore Owen Sluymers-Tuccinardi followed with a walk. Both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch. Senior Will Eliason then loaded the bases after being hit by a pitch. Stamper then raced home on the second wild pitch of the inning for the winning margin.
But Saline wouldn’t go quietly. The Hornets worked two walks off Gredenich in the top of the seventh. However, Eliason secured the win and ended Skyline’s drought by catching the final out on a fly to center.
Hammon went five innings, allowing only one earned run on seven hits with no walks while striking out one.
The win for Skyline was especially sweet since it came after Saline shutout the Eagles, 13-0, in Game 1 of the doubleheader. The Eagles could only manage three hits in a game ended after five innings due to the mercy rule.
Pitching dominated the rubber match of the series two days later when the teams met in Saline. The Hornets edged the Eagles, 2-1, by limiting Skyline to one hit. Sophomore Ryan Gensheimer kept the Eagles close all day, allowing two runs on five hits while striking out two and walking three over 4 1/3 innings. Junior Jake Middleton relieved and allowed no hits over 1 2/3 innings.
Sophomore Ian Decz recorded the Eagles only hit, which scored Middleton in the second inning.
The Eagles (9-9) are back in action on Monday, hosting the Bedford Kicking Mules, the state’s fourth-ranked team.
In JV action, Skyline fell behind early and couldn’t come back in an 11-0 loss to Saline in the first game of a double header on Wednesday. A single by Luke Williams in the second inning was a positive for the Eagles. Jackson Armstrong went 2-for-2 at the plate to lead Skyline in hits.
In the second game of the day, Skyline got their offense started in the first inning when Williams singled on a 1-1 count, scoring one run. Evan Dunham went 2-for-4 at the plate to lead the Eagles in hits. However, Saline took the lead for good with two runs in the fourth inning, with the final score 6-2.