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Pats beat ‘Noles on diamond for 9th straight time

Heritage continued its dominance over Salem on the baseball field Friday. Matt Studdard tossed a complete game, seven-hitter as Heritage defeated Salem for the ninth consecutive time, 6-1 at Danny Blue Field.

Salem (7-13, 2-8 Region 8-AAAAA), which coughed up a one-run lead late in Wednesday’s loss to Heritage, hasn’t defeated their county rival since March, 2010.

Studdard had a shut out going until Akil Baddoo ripped a two-out solo home run in the sixth. The sophomore right-hander settled back in and struck out Ryan Read looking to end the sixth, then got a game-ending double play in the seventh to help hand Heritage (15-6, 9-3) its sixth consecutive win.

The hosts’ defense helped out as Salem had a pair of runners erased on the base paths.

With runners at the corners and one out in the fourth, Read flied out to center field and Ryan Sutton made a perfect, one-hop throw to the plate that was in plenty of time to get Jordan Johnson for the third out.

An inning later, the Seminoles had two on with two outs when Tiwuan Head hit a ball that shortstop Isreal Zackery made a diving stop on in the hole between third and shortstop. While his throw seemed to pull Zack Boss off the bag at second, Jordan Scott was called out on the force play to retire the side.

The host Patriots manufactured the first run of the game, jumping on top of their rivals in the bottom of the first. Sutton led off the inning with a sharp single, stole second and moved to third when catcher Rocky Mauriello’s throw scooted through the legs of Johnson at second base. Tyler Holcombe followed with a suicide squeeze bunt and Sutton scored easily for a 1-0 lead.

Heritage chased an ineffective Head from the game in the second. Head, who started and went just 1 2/3 innings, surrendered a single to Justin Roberson and a four-pitch walk to Anthony Williams, while a throwing error by second baseman Ndiayemon Harrison loaded the bases with one out. Sutton polished off an eight-pitch at bat with a two-run single and after pinch-runner Justin Jackson and Sutton pulled off a double steal, Jackson scored on Holcombe’s sacrifice fly to make it a 4-0 game.

Kevin Barham relieved Head in the second and got an inning-ending ground out to strand Sutton at third. The freshman left-hander then pitched three scoreless innings before Heritage added a pair of runs in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Jalen Jackson and Domenic Bazzani’s infield single that scored Sutton to make it 6-1.