By CHRISSY SMITH
SLIDELL — It’s tough for any team to have to play the No. 1 seeded team early in the playoffs.
It’s great if you win, but upsetting if you lose.
On Tuesday at home for the No. 17 Spartans, Salmen had the task of taking on No. 1 St. Thomas More. It was the end of the road for Salmen as the local team lost 7-2 in the regional round of the Class 4A baseball playoffs.
“We had opportunities, but we just couldn’t get that run or the hit we needed. It’s nothing against our team because we did all we could do. They (St. Thomas More) are a really great team,”?Salmen Head Coach Brian Babin said.
With the score 5-1 in favor of St. Thomas More in the top of the sixth inning, STM?tacked on two more runs to the scoreboard.
Salmen began to make some noise in the bottom of the sixth when Dimitri Willis led off the inning with a walk. Then starting pitcher Cody Campo singled to put two runners on with no outs.
STM?decided to make a pitching change and then struck out the next Salmen batter. Tanner Dunham flied out to centerfield for the second out of the inning.
Next to bat was Matt DiLorenzo who hit an RBI single. Willis scored from second and the runner on first was thrown out at home plate to end the inning for Salmen, but making the score 7-2.
STM?did not score in the seventh, and the Spartans landed Nick Corso on base to lead off the bottom of the seventh after a walk, but Salmen would never score.
“No one really gave us a chance this year, and we came out game-after-game and showed that we were stronger and were going to work hard,”?Babin said.
Salmen will graduate eight seniors, seven of whom played on Tuesday.
“They were our glue for the whole year. We sat down with the seniors before the season and told them we needed them to be leaders. They did just that, and they are going to be hard to replace. Those are some big shoes to fill,”?Babin said.
To get to the regional round of the postseason, Salmen went on the road to take on the No. 16 Leesville Wampus Cats and won, 8-5.
Jason Hursey and Campo teamed up to hold the Wampus Cats to the five runs.
The Spartans seemed to be in control with a 7-0 lead entering the sixth inning but then three consecutive Leesville players got on base after three errors and two hits.
Campo relieved Hursey and retired the next three batters, but not before the home team scored three runs.
The Spartans added one more run in the seventh inning to bring it to 8-3. Leesville score two runs in the bottom half of the inning but the final batter flew out to Salmen’s Andre McKendall.
The Spartans finished the season 16-11-2 overall.