Senior Cole Daniels went 4-for-4 with a home run and five RBI as Saline defeated Pioneer 7-3 to complete the sweep of the season series with the SEC Red Rivals.
Saline improved to 15-5 overall and 12-0 in the SEC Red.
Starter Ryan Steinhauer earned the win, pitching four innings and allowing two earned runs on six hits and a walk. Steinhauer struck out one. Jack O’Keefe pitched two innings of relief, giving up one unearned run on two hits and a walk. He struck out two. Jacob Ohren-Hoeft pitched one inning of perfect relief to seal the victory.
Saline opened big with three runs in the first. Noah Nelson and Alex Morrison singled before Cole Daniels homered to right field. Pioneer got two runs back in the bottom of the inning on four singles and an error. Steinhauer escaped the inning with a double play to second baseman Reagan Miller, who flipped to shortstop Noah Nelson, who fired to Lance Blaszak at first.
The Hornets added another run in the second. With two out, Nelson reached on an error, Morrison was hit by a pitch and Daniels walked. O’Keefe singled to left field to score Nelson, but Morrison was thrown out trying to score, ending the inning. Steinhauer settled down, giving up just two hits and a walk the rest of the way. But the Hornets booted the ball around a little, making four errors in the game.
In the bottom of the fourth, with one out, a Pioneer batter reached on an error. After another out, Steinhauer allowed a single and walk, but Steinhauer escaped with a ground ball to Ohren-Hoeft at second.
In the fifth, Pioneer edged to within one, taking advantage of a single and an error. Saline got that back in the top of the sixth with a walk by Morrison, single by Daniels and then an error by Pioneer on O’Keefe’s ground ball to shortstop. In the top of the seventh, Aidan Corrigan walked, Belson singled and then Corrigan scored on a single to center by Daniels.
Mancino’s Pizza & Grinders 3 Stars
- Cole Daniels – The ace of the pitching staff had four hits and five RBI.
- Alex Morrison – Went 2-for-3 with a walk and three runs scored. He was also hit by a pitch and stole a base.
- Jack O’Keefe – Two more hits and two RBI for O’Keefe, plus a solid two innings of relief pitching.