Just as the rain started coming down at Ray Reasbeck field Wednesday night, a base hit from Junior Blaize Exline sent the Quakers pouring out of the dugout as well as the rain from the sky as the Quakers swept the Alliance Aviators to win their sixth straight.
The Quakers came from behind three different times Wednesday night including a 3 run deficit in the bottom of the 8th to earn the victory.
Alliance struck first for 3 runs in the first inning off of sophomore starter Gavin Wilms to put Salem in an early hole. The Quakers bounced back in the second inning putting up 5 runs of their own capped off by a 3 run home run by senior Lane Rhodes.
After a run in the third to close the gap to 5-4, Alliance took the lead again on a 3 run homer of their own by senior Gavin Bruni making it 7-5 Alliance.
Salem scored one in the bottom of the fourth on a double by Lane Rhodes scoring junior Darius Beck to make it 7-6 and then would tie it in the 6th inning on a base hit by Beck that scored senior Nick Coletta.
A substitution error in the fifth by head coach Mike DeBarr forced the Quakers to call on Freshman pitcher Carson Rhodes to relieve junior Cayden Burt. And after throwing 3 straight zeros on the board, Rhodes and the Quaker defense gave up 3 runs in the 8th inning and found themselves once again in a big hole.
But the Salem offense again stepped to the plate and answered the bell in the bottom half of the frame to tie the game at 10. Carson Rhodes led off the inning by being hit by a pitch and after Exline struck out looking, Beck singled through the hole on the left side, Lane Rhodes walked to load the bases.
Carson Rhodes scored on a passed ball and Wilms then reached on an error that plated Beck. Then with two outs and Lane Rhodes still at second, junior Jackson Johnson singled up the middle on the first pitch he saw to score Rhodes and tie the game at 10.
A scoreless top half of the 9th by the Aviators set the stage for the Quakers walk off winner. After senior Nick Coletta singled on the first pitch of the inning he was moved to second by a sacrifice bunt from Carson Rhodes. Then with the rain beginning to fall and the game in jeopardy of being suspended, Exline took the first pitch he saw and roped it into the left center field gap scoring Coletta and emptying the dugout for a walk off celebration. The rains almost instantly opened up as the celebration continued and the Quakers had their 6th straight win and 4th EBC win in as many tries.
Salem is now 6-1 overall (4-0 in the conference) and will play at Lisbon on Friday with the first pitch at 5 o’clock.