Royce Salay never had played the outfield for Foothill’s baseball team before the seventh inning on Friday.
But that didn’t stop him from making one of the game’s few outstanding defensive plays in right field.
Salay made a diving catch of a ball destined for the gap for the first out of the seventh and then ran down another ball in the alley to end the game as Foothill came away with a 15-9 win at Silverado.
“Our center fielder loses a contact, and now we have to make a defensive switch, which is our third baseman, who has never played an inning in the outfield,” Foothill coach Matt Iglitz said. “And he goes out and makes not only one diving catch but then a pretty good play, also, to end the game.”
Salay’s defense stood out on a day that both teams struggled to make plays. Silverado committed seven errors and Foothill five.
“We haven’t started to play solid defense, and our pitchers have just been doing an OK job,” Iglitz said. “We’ve found ourselves behind in some games, we’ve found ourselves in some holes, and our kids have been resilient to pull themselves out of those holes.”
Foothill (9-2) put forth a strong offensive effort, finishing with 14 hits and taking advantage of Silverado’s errors.
“I thought we swung the bats pretty well,” Iglitz said. “I liked our approach at the plate, and I thought the kids were mentally focused at the plate, went up there with a purpose and did a good job of executing some runs.”
Foothill plated five runs in the fourth, keyed by Salay’s two-run double, and added five more in the fifth, highlighted by Jansen Neff’s two-run double.
Tyler Van Stone went 3-for-4 with two runs and an RBI, and Salay was 2-for-4 with two runs and three RBIs for the Falcons, who bounced back after a 13-5 loss to Cimarron-Memorial on Thursday.
“Once we start to play a little better defense and start to pitch a little more consistently, we can be pretty tough,” Iglitz said.
Dillon Johnson and Nick Kawano each went 2-for-5 for Silverado (5-7-1).
Contact prep sports editor Damon Seiters at email@example.com or 702-380-4587. Follow @DamonSeiters on Twitter.
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