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Serpas' double lifts L-E past Aiken

Posted: March 3, 2015 3:33 p.m.
Updated: March 4, 2015 1:00 a.m.

Blake Serpas smacked a two-run, sixth inning double to the gap in right center to snap a 5-5 tie and help give Lugoff-Elgin an 8-5 win over Aiken in Saturday’s first round of the Carolina Ale House Classic.

The Demons trailed, 5-3, heading into the home half of the sixth before scoring five times to come away with the win at River Bluff High School.

L-E opened the game with a run in the bottom of the first to take a 1-0 lead. Serpas got the hosts going as he reached on a walk and later scored on Gunner Smith’s one-out grounder to shortstop.

Aiken scored twice in the second and tacked on two more runs in the third to go on top, 4-1, before L-E added a pair in the fourth to close the gap to one run.

In the home half of the fourth, Demons’ freshman Chase Roberts singled to left before Gage Branham reached on an error. The pair moved into scoring position on Brock Robinson’s sacrifice bunt. Chase Galloway then delivered a run-scoring single to left to bring Roberts home while Branham scored on a Deontae Hudson ground out.

After the Hornets made it a 5-3 game with a run in the top of the sixth, the Demons responded with five runs in their portion of the frame.

Branham kick-started the rally with a single to right field. After Robinson walked, Galloway beat out a bunt to load the bases with no outs. Hudson’s ground ball to second base was booted for a two-run error to even things at five. Serpas then brought runs six and seven in with his double before scoring on Smith’s sacrifice fly to right to make it an 8-5 game.

Both Serpas and Galloway enjoyed 2-for-3 afternoons at the plate.

Justin Dorton received the ball to start the game and the freshman lefty worked 5.2 innings of seven-hit baseball. He threw only 60 pitches. Robinson came on with two gone in the fifth and worked the rest of the way picking up the win after giving up one hit with a strikeout while throwing just 23 pitches.

"Our pitchers combined to throw just 83 pitches in a seven-inning game," said L-E head coach Randy Stokes. "That is very effective pitching and being around the plate."

Offensively, L-E collected seven hits while only striking out on two occasions. Stokes also was pleased with his team’s bunting and, overall, with their small-ball approach to moving runners into scoring position and then, getting the runners across.

"That’s the kind of baseball that we’re going to have to play this year," Stokes said. "We are not going to hit many home runs. We just have to be able to go out and put the ball in play and make things happen that way."

Tourney slate is changed:

L-E will host River Bluff tonight in a 6 p.m. start at Optimist Field in a game which was originally scheduled for Thursday night. On Friday, the Demons travel to Dreher for a 6 p.m. contest in a game which was originally slated to have been played on Monday.

Saturday’s final day of play in the tournament will all be contested at Irmo High School.

Due to the rain and threat of inclement weather throughout the rest of the week, officials with the Carolina Ale House tournament shifted the sites and dates of games. Two of those involved the Demons.

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