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Branham, Laffin help L-E gallop past Thoroughbreds

Posted: April 4, 2018 11:42 a.m.
Updated: April 6, 2018 1:00 a.m.
Tom Didato/C-I/

L-E’S WALKER BRANHAM DELIVERS a pitch in the first inning of Tuesday’s 6-4 victory over South Aiken.

Coming into this season, Walker Branham was sometimes left out in the conversation when people talked about the myriad of arms which Lugoff-Elgin baseball coach Randy Stokes has at his disposal.

It was not too hard given that Branham, a junior, is a veritable youngster on a Demon pitching staff loaded with seniors. Not anymore, though.

Branham fanned nine South Aiken batters in 4.1 innings of work to help the Demons to a 6-4 win over the Thoroughbreds in Tuesday’s second day of the Kershaw-Richland Wooden Bat Tournament at American Legion Park in Camden.

The victory was the fourth in as many decisions for the left-hander who allowed two earned runs for L-E (13-4) before giving way to Bradwin Salmond, who came on in relief to work 2.2 scoreless innings with three strikeouts.

The Demons got to SA starter Grant Stanford for a pair in the top of the first with Zac Branham drawing a leadoff walk and moving to second on a ground out. Salmond then got on by error before Jake Laffin’s sacrifice fly to center plated Branham with the game’s first run.

Justin Dorton then lined an RBI triple down the right field line to make it 2-0 before scoring the third run on a double steal with Josh Boone, who walked, taking second on the play.

Branham allowed an unearned run in a second frame in which the hosts answered by scoring two more in the top of the second with Dalton Reeves getting on with a one-out walk. Zac Branham was then hit by a pitch before Salmond loaded the bases as he reached on an error. Laffin drove in his second and third runs of the game with a single to right for a 5-1 lead.

SA closed the gap to 5-2 with a run in the third. The Demons added a sixth run in the fourth as Zac Branham doubled and scored on Laffin’s two-out single to center for his fourth RBI of the night to hike the lead to 6-2.

The T-breds chopped the deficit to 6-4 with two runs in the fifth in an inning in which Salmond came on in relief of Walker Branham to leave a runner hanging on third base. SA also left a man on third to close the sixth.

L-E did its damage on five hits with Laffin having a pair while driving in four runs. 

 

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