West Salisbury sent Rising Sun into the losers bracket of the state Junior baseball tournament with a tense 2-1 triumph Sunday.
West Salisbury tallied twice in the bottom of the sixth and then withstood a Rising Sun rally in the seventh.
Down 2-0, Rising Sun's Tyler Snyder smacked a single to center to start the top of the seventh. After an out, Jonah Davis reached on a swinging bunt toward third. He was allowed to steal second without a throw putting the tying run on third and go-ahead run on second with one out. But West Salisbury's Grason Winterbottom, who pitched brilliantly, got a strikeout before reaching his pitch count. Malike Johnson came on in relief and retired the final Rising Sun hitter on a called third strike to end the game.
The first five innings were played crisply. With one out in the top of the sixth, Nate McCullough reached on an error. Dakota Hodgson hit a bloop single to left. The West Salisbury left field tried to get a force on McCullough at second but threw low and wild allowing both runners to move up a base. But Winterbottom wriggled out of the jam by getting a strikeout and a grounder.
Hunter Niblett ignited the West Salisbury sixth inning rally by ripping a double to right-center. Winterbottom was hit by a pitch. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch. Rising Sun played its infield at normal depth and Cade Hurley knocked in a run with a grounder to second. Matt Chrysostome delivered a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0.
Video of the final out