SALEM — The Mount Carmel 12-year-old Little League all-stars bowed out of the District 1 tournament after losing an elimination game, 6-2, Tuesday evening to the host Salem squad.
“We came out on the short end of the stick again,” said Mount Carmel coach Damon Banks a day after his team lost to Olney setting up their elimination match up with Salem. “Hats off to Salem. They’ve got a good ball club. They did make some nice defensive plays.”
Mount Carmel was limited to three hits with two of those coming in the top of the sixth inning. Drew Gillihan had two of those hits going 2-for-3 with a single in the fourth inning and a two-run homer in the sixth. Gillihan scored a run and two RBI.
“We came out and got a nice home run from Drew Gillihan … but still came up short,” said Banks. “They kept fighting, but it was not enough runs and not enough hits.”
Mount Carmel was limited on the base path as well as the team left only three runners on base the entire night.
Salem’s Gavin Zimmermann picked up the win throwing a complete game allowing three hits, two runs (both earned) while walking one batter and striking out eight.
“He threw a heck of a game there,” said Banks. “Their defense was in the right spots, and it seemed like we hit it right to them.”
Mount Carmel’s Asher Kight battled on the hill but suffered the loss throwing four innings allowing 10 hits, six runs (four earned) walking two and striking out three.
“Asher did a really good job,” said Banks. “Compared to last year, he’s matured a lot as far as his placement and being able to work the zone better. Salem’s bats were covering the whole plates. There’s not much more you can say about it.”
Trailing 6-0, Quaid Kanipe led off the sixth inning with a walk which was followed up by a two-run homer off the bat of Gillihan for the only runs of the game for Mount Carmel.
The game did not start off well for Mount Carmel as the Zimmermann led off for Salem and it looked as if he was going to ground out, but an error allowed him to reach.
Jairen Stroud followed with a single. He looked to steal second with Zimmermann still on the base. However, Mount Carmel was unable to record an out allowing both runners to advance a base.
“We had a couple of errors there to get us down in the first inning,” said Banks. “We were throwing down to first, and I think they wanted us to throw down to first so they could move the runners around.”
Coen West followed with a two-RBI double scoring both Zimmermann and Stroud to give Salem an early 2-0 lead.
Then, Noah Nix followed with a double allowing West to score to make it 3-0 against Mount Carmel. The first five batters for Salem reached on base hits before the No. 6 hitter popped out to third, and the seven and eight hitters struck out to end the inning.
The score remained 3-0 until the third when Salem scored again. West led off the inning with a ground-rule double and moved to third on a single into right field by Nix before scoring on a fielder’s choice from Aden Bass.
Salem scored its final two runs in the fourth. Zimmermann singled with one out and moved to second on an error when the ball got by Mount Carmel’s center fielder.
After a wild pitch moved Zimmermann to third, Stroud walked before West singled home Zimmerman for a 5-0 lead for Salem. Stroud advanced to second on West’s single and third on a fielder’s choice before scoring when Mount Carmel committed its fourth error of the game to give Salem a 6-0 lead.
West was 3-for-3 with two runs scored and three RBI. Zimmermann finished 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Nix was 2-for-3 with an RBI and Bass finished 1-for-3 with an RBI.
Contact Register Sports Editor Paul Wilcoxen at (618) 263-1004 ext 1025, email@example.com, or on Twitter @MCRprepsports