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Salem closes season with pair of wins

Salem closes season with pair of wins

ATHENS -- It was a difficult season for the Salem baseball team, but it ended on a high note recently.

Garrett Needham pitched 5 innings of three-hit ball and Cole Gibson drove in three runs as the Seminoles defeated Cedar Shoals -- 8-1 in the season finale Wednesday.

The roller coaster season for the Seminoles -- they started 7-0 only to lose 14 of their next 17 -- ended with a convincing sweep of the Jaguars after a 9-1 victory Monday.

"I am proud of the effort this senior class put forth in leadership," said Salem coach Chad Kitchens, whose team finished 12-14, but just 4-12 in the difficult Region 8-AAAAA. "We are going to continue to work to try to get better starting now."

Needham followed Jason Howell's quality start Monday (4 innings, two hits, one run) with a one-run, six-strike out performance.

Meanwhile, Gibson had three hits, Gordon College signee Zach Bailey added three hits and three stolen bases and Howell, Needham, Bailey, Tiwuan Head and Jordan Scott all drove in runs. Despite the losing record, Salem finished with four more wins than last season's 8-18 team.

"We finished the season 12-14 which was not what we wanted overall, however, we did improve a great deal over last season."

Eagles let region championship chance slip away

DAHLONEGA -- The Eastside baseball team traveled to face Lumpkin County with a Region 8-AAAA championship in its sights only to get let its chances slip away as the Indians won 9-6 on Tuesday.

The Eagles (19-5, 11-3) generated little offense as Nick Womack singled to drive in Drew Buckhault who had walked earlier. Lumpkin answered right back to put the Indians (12-12, 7-7) ahead 2-1.

The Indians maintained their momentum on their side of the third inning as a two-run homer helped them go up 6-1.

Eastside scratched out another run in the fourth courtesy of a Buckhault double in conjunction with another RBI single from Womack. The Eagles continued to mount a comeback in the sixth inning eventually tying the game 6-6.

But Lumpkin County had back-to-back-to-back hits to take a 9-6 lead in the bottom of the sixth. Eastside threatened in the seventh with bases loaded, but stranded all three runners as the game came to an end.

-- From staff reports