Unusual Play Helps Salem Squeak Past Tigers

The Houston Tigers ran off the field in the top of the sixth inning thinking they had escaped a jam. They were wrong, at least according to the umpires.

The infield umpire ruled a swinging third strike that appeared to end the inning and strand a runner on third base hit the ground. There was no one covering first base when the batter sprinted down the line, and catcher Kirk Pierce’s throw sailed into right field to allow the go-ahead run to trot home.

Salem 6, Houston 5.

David Weybright, Caleb Smith and A.J. Castleman had two hits apiece for Houston, which dropped its fourth game in five outings to fall to 5-6.

Weybright gave up nine hits and three earned runs in the complete-game loss. He struck out seven and walked one.

After Salem scored an unearned run in the top of the second, Houston’s Chris Mooney tripled and scored on Eli Smith’s two-out single.

Salem scored three times in the third, but the Tigers answered with four runs of their own.

Weybright and Smith singled in front of Pierce, who doubled home Weybright. Smith sprinted home when the second baseman lazily jogged the ball into the infield and slid safely under the diving tag of Brandon Plank. Pierce took off for third and when Plank’s throw went into left field, he jogged home to make it 4-all. Ty Scheet’s RBI single that scored Tom Oakley put Houston ahead 5-4.

Plank reached on an error in the fifth and scored to tie it at 5-all.

In the sixth, the Tigers began jogging off the field when Weybright fanned Plank to apparently end the inning. But after a couple seconds of confusion, Plank took off for first. No one was covering the bag and Pierce’s throw went into right field, allowing the winning run to jog home from third.

Salem 013 011 0 – 6 9 3

Houston 014 000 0 – 5 10 5

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