Leopards Fall to Salem in Sectional Final, Finish 15-13 – Baseball
#2 Salem 7, #9 Louisville 1
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The #9 Seed Louisville Leopards Baseball Team fell to the host #2 Seed Salem Quakers 7-1 Wednesday Evening in their DII Louisville Sectional Final held at Ray Reasbeck Field on the campus of Salem High School. With the loss, Louisville finishes the season with a final record of 15-13.
Popick Goes 3-for-4, Breaks Up Shutout
Junior shortstop JT Popick batted 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI single to lead the Leopards. Senior catcher Kaedin Gotshall and sophomore second baseman Connor Morley were the only other batters to record base hits for Louisville.
In the top of the seventh, Popick singled on a hard ground ball to left field to drive in junior left fielder Connor Adelman from second base for the Leopards only run of the contest. Adelman walked on 5 pitches to lead-off the inning and then advanced into scoring position on a passed ball prior to scoring on Popick’s base knock.
Popick Left Stranded On 3rd Twice
Earlier in the game, Popick advanced to third base twice but was unable to score. Popick recorded Louisville’s first hit of the game on a 1-out single in the top of the third. He then reached second on a passed ball before swiping third base. However, Salem starting pitcher Lane Rhodes struck out the next two Leopard batters to end the frame.
Popick smacked a 2-out double to left field in the fifth inning and then once again stole third base. The steal was his 17th of the season on a perfect 17 attempts. However, yet again Rhodes struck out the next LHS batter to end the threat.
Beck, Rhodes, Exline Lead Salem
Rhodes finished by throwing a complete game, gave up 1 unearned run on 5 hits, and struck out 11 to lead Salem.
The Quakers were led at the plate by catcher Darius Beck and center fielder Blaize Exline. Beck went 2-for-4 at the plate while driving in 4 runs on a 2-run single in the fifth inning and a 2-run double in the sixth inning. Exline batted a perfect 3-for-3 at the top of the lineup, stole 3 bases, and scored 3 runs.
Quakers Build On Their Lead
Third baseman Gavin Wilms also hit 2-for-3 for the game. He cracked an RBI single to center to bring home Exline from third for the game’s first run in the opening inning. Later in the fifth, Wilms doubled on a line drive to center bringing home Beck to cap off the first of 2 three-run innings for Salem.
The Quakers added on to their lead in the sixth. Left fielder Brock Young led off the frame with a double to center. Then second baseman Nick Coletta reached on an error after attempting a sacrifice bunt. Young scored all the way from first on the play as a result.
Salem’s 1st Win Over Louisville Since 1996
This marks the first time Louisville has lost to Salem since falling to them 11-8 on April 13, 1996. The Leopards had won the previous 18 meetings over the Quakers coming into the Wednesday’s game including the last 8 played at Salem High School. This was the first time the two teams ever competed in the postseason in known history.
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VARSITY BASEBALL BOX SCORE
QUAKERS 7, LEOPARDS 1
LOUISVILLE LEOPARDS BASEBALL VARSITY BATTING STATS
LOUISVILLE LEOPARDS BASEBALL VARSITY PITCHING STATS
SALEM QUAKERS BASEBALL VARSITY BATTING STATS
SALEM QUAKERS BASEBALL VARSITY PITCHING STATS
Records: Salem 24-3, Louisville 15-13