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Vikings score run in seventh to knock off Demons, 1-0

Posted: March 17, 2016 2:23 p.m.
Updated: March 18, 2016 1:00 a.m.

Should the Lugoff-Elgin baseball team need one more win in order to enhance its post-season resume, it may well look back on Tuesday’s 1-0 loss to host Spring Valley as the one that got away.

The loss came in the Region 4-4A opener for both sides and was a loss which Demons’ head coach Randy Stokes said was a tough one to swallow.

“We had opportunities to score runs but we just didn’t get it done,” Stokes said.

L-E had the bases loaded with one out in the top of the sixth but could not push across the game’s first run as a flare to shallow left was grabbed just steps from the infield dirt. That was followed by a line drive out to center. 

An inning later, Chase Galloway led off the seventh with his second hit of the night before the Demon catcher was lifted for courtesy runner Deontae Hudson who was bunted over to second. But SV’s Mark Duroux fanned the next two batters he faced.

After those two scares, Spring Valley scored the game’s lone run in its final at-bat.

The Vikings received a leadoff single to open the bottom of the seventh. With one out, a wild pitch advanced the runners to second. Stokes then called for an intentional walk to set up the double play but a passed ball allowed both runners to move into scoring position. That led to Stokes ordering another intentional walk to load the bases and set up a force at any base. 

With that, Stokes took out starting pitcher Justin Dorton in favor of senior Brock Robinson. The right-hander did exactly what he was supposed to do in getting the first batter he faced to hit a ground ball to the infield. But an error on the play resulted in Spring Valley’s scoring the game’s only run.

Dorton went 6.1 innings and allowed three hits while striking out two and not walking a batter before handing the ball over to Robinson.

“This was one of those games where you pitched well and you lose. There are other games where you don’t pitch well and you win,” Stokes said. “That’s just the game of baseball, though.”

The Demon defense came up big on at least two occasions. The first came in the opening frame when rightfielder Chase Roberts tracked down a liner in the gap which saved a run. In the fourth, centerfielder Bradwin Salmond sent a rope to Galloway at the plate to easily gun down an SV runner trying to score from second base.

For his part Duroux allowed just four hits and was at his best what things were tight.

“He was real good when we got people on base which, when you have only four hits, were limited occasions,” Stokes said. “He also got better the deeper we got in the count. He wasn’t overpowering but he was sneaky fast.”

L-E (4-3, 0-1 in 4-4A) will try and bounce back tonight when Blythewood pays a visit to Optimist Field.

“After this game,” Stoke said, “we talked to our guys about moving on. We knew this was an important game but we have to go back to work and get ready for the next game.”

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