Salem walks it off in 2-1 win over Jamestown for Class 4 title

Dave Johnson
Contact Reporterdjohnson@dailypress.com

Everyone loves a walk-off. The drama and celebration make for great theater.

Unless, of course, you’re on the other end. Jamestown’s baseball team is getting too used to that.

For the third year in a row, the Eagles’ season ended in walk-off fashion. Matt Wright’s two-out RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning gave the Salem Spartans a 2-1 win in the Class 4 final at Salem Memorial Ballpark.

“Three years in a row,” Jamestown coach John Cole said. “Unbelievable.”

A day after upsetting Grafton in the semifinals, the Eagles (19-5) battled back to tie the game on E.A. Woolwine’s run-scoring single in the top of the sixth inning. But Woolwine, Jamestown’s ace pitcher, gave up consecutive singles to Zac Honaker and Parker Stallard to lead off the bottom of the seventh.

After Honaker ran into an out at third base, Jadon Fetrow lined to center. With first base open, Cole elected to intentionally walk Joe Quinn, the Spartans’ No. 3 hitter.

Wright then lined a shot to the gap in left-center to easily score Stallard from second.

“I just figured we’d go for the force and go after this guy,” Cole said. “Give the kid credit. He made a good swing and smoked it.”

Salem took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first after an error and two hit batters loaded the bases. While pitching to Hunter Clifton with two out, Woolwine was called for a balk. That allowed Stallard to score from third base.

“He just said it was a balk,” Woolwine said of the umpire. “Just have to go by what he said. Can’t change the game.”

Another moment that will haunt Jamestown came in the top of the fifth inning. With runners on the corners and one out, Josh Ammons appeared to steal second base. Wright, Salem’s catcher, threw to Fetrow in front of second base in a decoy to catch the runner at third.

But the plate umpire ruled the batter, Ethan Weaver, had interfered with Honaker. Weaver was called out and Ammons was sent back to first base. Ammons was then picked off to end the inning.

“He didn’t interfere with the play,” Cole said of Weaver. “(Wright) made a perfect throw. I get it, but usually you make that call if the catcher runs into (the batter) and it distracts the throw. The throw was perfect.”

Another what-if moment came in the top of the seventh when Rocco Colafrancesco was thrown out trying to steal second on a close play. The next batter, Ammons, lined a single to right-center that likely would have scored the runner.

“We just weren’t hitting the ball,” Cole said. “Their guy’s throwing one speed, one pitch, and we tried to force a couple of things that didn’t work. Everything we did today execution-wise failed.”

The Eagles pulled even in the top of the sixth. With one out, Spencer Pietruszynski doubled to the wall in left-center. Woolwine followed with a single to make it a 1-1 game.

Cole said his team overachieved this season.

“If you would have told me we’d be a state finalist at the beginning of the year, I’d say no way with the lack of pitching depth we had,” he said. “I give a lot of credit to our seniors for getting us this far. It’s tough to get here.”

But Woolwine, one of those seniors, wanted more.

“Should have won one more,” he said.

SALEM 2, JAMESTOWN 1

Jamestown 000 001 0 — 1 7 1

Salem 100 000 1 — 2 8 0

WP: Zi. Honaker (8-0). LP: Woolwine (11-2). Standouts: Jamestown, Pastirik 2-2, Ammons 2-2; Salem, Zi. Honaker 2-3, Za. Honaker 2-3.

Johnson can be reached at 757-247-4649. Follow him on Twitter at @DaveJohnsonDP.

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