CONYERS - Salem put on a hitting clinic against county rival Rockdale on Tuesday.
Brandon Crumbley was 3-for-3 with a home run, a double and three RBIs as the Seminoles (21-4 overall, 19-4 in 8-AAAA) rolled to a 9-3 victory over the visiting Bulldogs (13-11, 12-11).
Salem pounded out 12 hits, while the Bulldogs managed just one against Seminole right-hander Jake Dyer.
"I was proud of the way we hit the ball today," Salem coach Chris Davis said. "Brandon's home run was big, he hit the ball well. For the most part, we did a good job on the bases. I ran us into some outs as much as anything.
"Overall, Jake pitched a great game. We just lost our composure a little bit in that last inning. When we've got a lead, we have to understand what we need to do."
Crumbley started the hit parade in the bottom of the second, crushing a two-run homer to center field. Corey Womack and Josh Bailey followed with hits and later scored on wild pitches, increasing the Salem lead to 4-0.
Meanwhile on the mound, Dyer found his rhythm early, recording four strikeouts in the first two innings. He finished the game with nine strikeouts and picked up the complete-game victory.
Dyer's only blemish was Nakeem Forte's lead-off home run in the top of the fourth down the right-field line.
In the bottom of the frame, Dyer helped his own cause with a two-out RBI double, restoring Salem's four-run lead at 5-1.
The Seminoles struck for a pair of runs in both the fifth and sixth innings.
Crumbley led off the fourth with a double and scored on Corey Womack's perfect execution of the squeeze play. Later in the inning, Drew Dentler drove in Womack with an RBI single.
In the sixth, Dyer singled and scored on Taylor's Lamb's RBI single. Crumbley followed with his third hit of the day, a single, to plate Lamb.
Rockdale added two runs in the top of the seventh, taking advantage of two Salem errors and a wild pitch.
"We know we're in the playoffs, so it's a matter right now of finishing strong and playing well going into them," Davis said. "All we can do is control ourselves. We can't worry about anybody else. We just have to play well, get ready and finish up strong Wednesday."
Jeff Gillespie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.