Salem shortstop Ashton Karr throws to first base after forcing out Houston's Chris Mooney.

Eli Smith scored three times, including a steal of home in the fourth inning, as the Houston Tigers downed Salem 7-1 Monday in the team’s conference opener.

Smith and Lucas Cooperman scored three times apiece for the Tigers, who beat Salem for the second time this season. Houston (5-1, 1-0 SCA) earlier defeated Salem in the second round of the SCA Tournament.

Kyle Poynter struck out 10 and scattered five hits to improve to 2-1. He walked just one in the complete-game victory.

Chris Mooney and Kaleb Poynter had two hits each to account for four of the Tigers’ seven hits. Kyle Poynter knocked in a pair of runs with a fifth-inning double.

Salem struck first as leadoff hitter Andrew Kissir doubled in the top of the first and scored on a wild pitch. Salem wouldn’t score again.

Cooperman singled and scored on a fielder’s choice, and Smith trotted home on Kaleb Poynter’s run-scoring single in the bottom of the first.

Houston scored single runs in each of the next three innings. Cooperman scored an unearned run on the first of three Salem errors, senior Brandon Belt was plunked with the bases loaded and Smith stole home.

With the Tigers ahead 5-1, Kyle Poynter doubled down the left-field line in the fifth to plate Cooperman and Mooney.

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