By Coach Harv Antle
SALEM, Mo. – The Licking Wildcats finished fifth in the 2021 Salem Baseball Tournament. The three-game event saw the Wildcats defeated by Salem and Pacific before they picked up a consolation victory over Waynesville.
SALEM 18, LICKING 4
In the opening game of the tournament, Licking took on the host Tigers from Salem. The Wildcats surged to an early 4-0 lead thanks to a 3-run home run from Cole Wallace in the second inning.
In the third inning, the wheels came off for Licking. Salem scored seven times on five hits and two errors; all with two outs.
Salem batted around again in the fourth and invoked the run rule after six innings. Landon Medlock started and took the loss for Licking as he surrendered seven runs, three earned, over three innings.
Wallace, Malachi Antle, Easton Ice, Spencer Rogers, and Kaiden Wantland all produced hits for Licking in the loss. After the quick start, the Wildcats managed just one base hit over the final four frames.
PACIFIC 14, LICKING 13
Game two of the tournament matched Licking against the Pacific Indians. Licking led 13-8 in the bottom of the seventh, but Pacific mounted a furious comeback and walked the Wildcats off 14-13.
The high-scoring game was fueled by walks. The teams combined to walk 16 batters in the contest.
Austin Stephens was saddled with the loss in relief of starter Keyton Cook. Cook pitched four innings and was charged with seven runs, five earned, on seven hits and two walks.
Kaiden Wantland followed Cook to the mound. He logged two-plus innings and gave three runs on three hits and two walks.
When Wantland allowed the first two hitters to reach in the seventh, Rusty Buckner relieved. Buckner faced three batters and did not record an out, and Stephens was the pitcher of record when Pacific scored the winning run.
The loss was the fifth straight for the Wildcats and allowed a 10-hit, 13-run offensive performance to go to waste. Malachi Antle and Easton Ice led the Wildcat hit parade with three each.
Buckner was 2-for-5. Silas Antle hit a two-run homer and drove in three runs while Cole Wallace, Spencer Rogers, and Cook all logged two RBIs.
LICKING 15, WAYNESVILLE 5
The Licking Wildcats snapped their five-game losing streak on Friday and finished fifth at the Salem Tournament with a 15-5 win over Waynesville.
Silas Antle pitched four and one-third innings for the victory. He allowed five runs, four earned, on four hits and struck out four.
Cole Wallace finished with two-thirds of an inning in which he fanned two. Wallace was also part of a potent offense that cranked out 15 runs on 11 hits.
Malachi Antle belted a grand slam and Rusty Buckner added a three-run homer for Licking. Wallace was 2-for-3 and Keyton Cook was 1-for-3 with three runs scored and two RBIs.
At the conclusion of the tournament, the All Tournament Team was announced. Malachi Antle was selected to the team following his 6-for-11 performance at the plate that included one home run, three doubles, five RBIs, and six runs scored.
Licking improved to 9-10 for the spring with the victory. The Wildcats received the fourth seed of the Class 3, District 9 Tournament at Houston and take on Belle in the opening round on Saturday, May 15 at 1 p.m.