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Salmond’s breakout game helps Demons top Blazers

Posted: April 2, 2014 4:19 p.m.
Updated: April 4, 2014 5:00 a.m.

When you send an eight-grader to the wolves in 4A baseball, you resign yourself to taking the good with the not so good.
After several weeks of solid play, Bradwin Salmond had the kind of game which is normally reserved for an upperclassman in helping Lugoff-Elgin to a 5-2 win over host Ridge View on Tuesday in Columbia.
Salmond, an eighth-grader at Lugoff-Elgin Middle School, cracked his first high school home run, drove in three runs while adding a single, a sacrifice fly, a stolen base and a sacrifice bunt for good measure as the Demons improved to 3-1 in Region 4-4A action.
L-E head coach Randy Stokes said he knew that it would only be a matter of time before Salmond found his way in the varsity game.
“We felt that the more at-bats Bradwin got, the better he would get,” Stokes said of Salmond’s first varsity campaign. “He is still trying to make the transition to high school pitching. But he’s progressing like we thought he would.”
The Demons scored first in this one as Cody Mailly led the game off with a single, took second on Salmond’s sacrifice bunt and scored on Russ Radcliff’s double to center field.
The Blazers did all their damage in the second innings, scoring twice off Zac Bowers who threw a complete game six-hitter with seven strikeouts.
Salmond knotted things in the third with a solo shot, his first high school home run, to right center field.
Two innings later, the Demons took the lead as Hunter McManus sent a leadoff single to right and scored on Salmond’s single to right to make it 3-2.
The guests tacked on two insurance runs in the seventh as McManus opened things by getting hit by a pitch. Mailly then beat out a bunt to put runners on first and second with no outs. The pair moved into scoring position on a passed ball before McManus scored on Salmond’s sacrifice fly to left. Mailly made it a 5-2 game when he came home on Radcliff’s single to center.
Joe Harvley’s Blazers were coming off a region win over Richland Northeast and Stokes, whose team lost to Ridge View in a pre-season tournament, said he knew how tough this game would be for his league leaders.
“Ridge View is very good and they are playing very good baseball,” he said. “Joes does a great job and his kids came to play. They hit some balls hard which were right at us. Getting those two runs in the seventh was huge for us.”
The Demons collected nine hits --- six of those singles --- on the night with Salmond, Mailly and Radcliff getting two each.
“That’s been our M.O. all season,” Stokes said of his offense. “We’re getting people on base and then, getting timely hitting to bring them in to score.
“We’re doing what we need to do at the plate and we only struck out four times, which has been a key for us. I like the way we are approaching things on offense, right now.”


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