View Mobile Site

Moody’s no-hitter is latest addition to Demons’ woes

Posted: April 23, 2014 2:16 p.m.
Updated: April 25, 2014 5:00 a.m.

Adding injury to injury on top of insult, Lugoff-Elgin head baseball coach Randy Stokes refused to play the “woe is me” card following his team’s fourth straight loss.
Minutes after watching his team get no-hit by Ridge View’s Chris Moody in a 4-0 setback on Tuesday at Optimist Field, the Demon boss had no other option than to move on to tonight’s regular season finale at Irmo, a game which has playoff implications for the visitors.
The problem tonight and, possibly beyond, is that L-E will take to the field still minus the services of injured shortstop Russ Radcliff who will be joined on the disabled list by starting second baseman Cody Mailly.
Mailly, who was moved into Radcliff’s spot on defense, injured his left hand in the third inning when he braced himself on a fall after reaching base on an error. He was scheduled to have the injury examined on Wednesday.
As if the loss and another injury were not bad enough, to throw gas on the embers, Richland Northeast defeated Region 4-4A leader Blythewood on Tuesday, assuring the Demons of finishing no better than third place in the circuit, with fourth now a possibility. Either way, when the 4A playoffs open next Thursday, L-E will be on the road with possible starting points being Summerville or Lexington.
Shortly after meeting with his team, Stokes said he would gather with his coaches to talk about personnel changes in light of Mailly’s injury. Before he addressed that subject, though, he talked about what was first and foremost in his thinking.
“We need a ‘w’ (a win) bad,” he said, matter-of-factly, while alluding to his team’s recent dry spell. “We’ve had some unfortunate injuries which have affected us and, we’re kind of reeling right now. We have to find some kind of bright spot before we head into the playoffs.”
Injuries notwithstanding, the story of this game was Moody. The left-hander, who like his opposite number on this night, L-E starter Zac Bowers, will attend Erskine College this fall, was able to get ahead of batters all night and used a fastball, curveball and a change-up to do it. Moody fanned eight batters, hit and walked one with two Demons getting on base via error in a dominating performance in which he had four 1-2-3 innings.
“He was really, really good,” Stokes said of Moody’s mastery. “That was probably as good of a performance as I’ve seen in a couple of years here.
“He threw a fastball and pitched us backwards. He threw a changeup in fastball counts for strikes. He really impressed me. We couldn’t get a pattern on what he was trying to do because he mixed it up so much.”
The Blazers staked Moody with the only run he would need in the second which started with a James Sims leadoff triple to the gap in right center. Bowers, who suffered a second straight tough-luck loss, would get the next two batters on a swinging and called third strike before Marion Brown’s seeing-eye single to left drove in Sims.
The Demons’ only scoring chance against Moody came in the third which opened with Brock Robinson reaching on a throwing error. He was bunted to second by Danny Bowen. With two gone, Mailly hit a high-chopper to third. The hurried throw to first was well off the mark. Robinson, however, only moved up a base while Mailly took second on the play on which he sustained his injury. Moody left the runners hanging in scoring position by getting a swinging third strike on an off-speed pitch to squash the potential rally.
From there, Moody closed by giving up a walk and a hit batsmen over the final four frames in which he fanned seven.
Stokes said he was not sure that the one run would hold up, but he expected runs to be at a premium in this contest.
“I felt coming in that this was going to be a low-scoring game and that if we won, we might win 1-0 or, 2-1,” he said. “I didn’t see us getting many more runs off (Moody.)
“In practice (Monday), we talked about what kind of approach (at the plate) that we had to have. (Moody) was that guy. He worked us away and he never pitched the same guy the same way. We always talk about learning from your first at-bat about how he pitched and how he got you out. It didn’t matter tonight because he did something different the next time.”
The guests added a second run in the sixth with Sims lining a double along the third base line and scoring when he was hit in the helmet on the throw from first base while going to third on Casey Poole’s ground out. When the ball rolled into left field, Sims came in with the second run. 
The Blazers tacked on two more in the seventh as consecutive one-out singles off the bats of Will O’Brian and Moody turned into runs. After taking second on a wild pitch and third on a passed ball, O’Brian scored on Moody’s single. Moody then stole second and third before coming in on Logan’s Sherry’s sacrifice fly to center.
The Demons avoided further damage when Tyler Unangst, who singled, was gunned down at the plate on a throw from centerfielder Hunter McManus to the plate for the third out. The last out was recorded with Jake Brazell on the mound who worked one batter after Bowers was taken out.
Bowers went 6.2 innings, allowing six hits with five strikeouts.
“It seems like we’re not scoring a lot of runs behind Zac,” Stokes said of Bowers who was coming off a 3-2 loss to Camden last Wednesday. “A lot of times, he facing a ‘one’ (ace) from the other team and we’re not generating runs. We had an opportunity in the third, but couldn’t get it done. That’s kind of been our M.O. lately; getting guys on and not producing runs.”
Heading into tonight’s game at Irmo (3-6), the Demons are tied with Ridge View for third in Region 4-4A with 5-4 identical records. Richland Northeast and Blythewood sport similar 6-3 marks atop the circuit. Ridge View plays Blythewood tonight while RNE takes on Spring Valley (2-7) in regular season finales which will determine playoff seeding.
As for Stokes, however, he had bigger fish to fry before heading to Irmo or, looking ahead to the playoffs. He and his coaches met following this game to try and put together a new batting order and lineup in light of injuries to the Demons’ Keystone combo at second base and shortstop.
“I have no formula, yet,” he said when asked of any possible scenarios. “We’re going to sit down and try to make some decisions which are best for our team.
“I don’t know what the answer is, right now. I’m going to talk with our coaches and try to figure things out. We’re getting ready to throw some young kids into the fire and see how they perform.”

Interested in viewing premium content?

A subscription is required before viewing this article and other premium content.

Already a registered member and have a subscription?

If you have already purchased a subscription, please log in to view the full article.

Are you registered, but do not have a subscription?

If you are a registed user and would like to purchase a subscription, log in to view a list of available subscriptions.

Interested in becoming a registered member and purchasing a subscription?

Join our community today by registering for a FREE account. Once you have registered for a FREE account, click SUBSCRIBE NOW to purchase access to premium content.

Membership Benefits

  • Instant access to creating Blogs, Photo Albums, and Event listings.
  • Email alerts with the latest news.
  • Access to commenting on articles.

Contents of this site are © Copyright 2014 Chronicle Independent All rights reserved. Privacy policy and Terms of service

Powered by
Morris Technology
Please wait ...