Jake Selco was one busy man. He made his presence known as he led the McPherson Pipeliners to a 5-3 win over the Salina Shock during opening night on Friday.
Selco didn't waste any time in the bottom of the first when he slammed a three-run homer to give the Pipeliners an early 3-0 lead.
"I just saw it really well. That was my pitch, so I knew I wasn't going to miss it," Selco said after the game.
As an infielder, he made two athletic catches in foul territory to get batters out. To top it all off, he stepped on the mound as the closer and pitched two straight strikeouts, which earned him a save to end the night at Light Capital Stadium.
When asked what stood out the most out of all those plays he made, he did not turn away the three-run bomber despite considering himself a defensive player. He was 2-for-3 at the plate.
"I always take a lot of pride on my defense, but I think the hitting has always been something I kind of wanted to work on and get up there," Selco said. "So I think the hitting was probably something I wanted to keep improving on, and something that showed part of the improvements I made."
Aaron Eshelman gave the Pipeliners another run off an RBI double in the bottom fourth. Then Rey Lozano added one more in the bottom seventh off an RBI single. The Pipeliners collected seven total hits and two errors, while the Shock had five hits and four errors.
"It was good at-bats, grinding at-bats and aggressive hats when the ball was in the zone," Pipeliners Head Coach Chris Dawson said. "When guys are doing that, that's just mechanical work. We can fix that, but I love the aggressiveness because sometimes you can't turn the switch on to be aggressive. It was great to see that."
Trevor Lunkwitz started on the mound for the Pipeliners. He lasted four innings, pitched four strikeouts, and only surrendered three hits and three walks.
Adam Tabor had a strong performance from the bullpen. He led the Pipeliners with six strikeouts in three and two-thirds of an inning.
The Shock wasn't out of it yet as they only trailed two runs. The Shock collected one unearned run in the top second, and two more runs in the top fifth. However, the defense followed through with four scoreless innings to close out the game.
"I told my pitchers to trust their defense. We got guys who can flat out pick it, our outfielders can go it," Dawson said. "Throw strikes, let them show us that they can beat us with their sticks. We can play defense, and if we attack the zone, we could be pretty dang good over the summer."
The Pipeliners will return to the Light Capital Diamond on Saturday to take on Andale at 7 p.m. First road game will be at Valley Center on Sunday as they take on the Mud Daubers.
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