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Demons cruise past Lower Richland in tourney opener
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To the surprise of no one, Lugoff-Elgin advanced into the winners’ bracket of the 4A District VI baseball tournament with a 14-0 blitzing of visiting Lower Richland on Tuesday night at Optimist Field in a game stopped after four and a half innings by the 10-run rule.

The Demons hosted Beaufort, a 3-1 winner over Myrtle Beach, on Thursday with the winner advancing into next Monday’s 5 p.m. district championship. The loser will meet the winner of the Myrtle Beach vs. Lower Richland game Saturday. Should L-E have lost Thursday, it will host Saturday’s elimination game at Optimist Field at 4 p.m.

In Tuesday’s opener with the Diamond Hornets, the host Demons did all their damage in four frames with the final six runs coming in the bottom of the fourth. Junior lefty Walker Branham went the distance for Randy Stokes’ troops, scattering five hits while fanning eight in an economical 56-pitch performance.

L-E scored three in the first off LR’s Aaron Jackson with Zac Branham sending a leadoff single to center before stealing second and scoring on Jake Laffin’s two-out double to center. Laffin scored on an error on a ball hit by Noah Rabon with Rabon making it 3-0 when he came in on a Josh Boone single.

Zac Branham led off the second with a double and made it a 4-0 game when he scored on one of five LR errors.

The Demons scored four times without the benefit of a hit in a bottom of the third which started when Josh Boone was hit by a Jackson offering. Boone stole second and with two outs, scored on an error on a ball off the bat of Dalton Reeves. Walks to Branhan and Justin Dorton followed with Reeves coming home on a stolen base as did Branham while Dorton up the ante to 8-0, scoring on an error.

A six-run fourth provided some window-dressing for the home team as Boone led the rally off with a single before Legrand unloaded on an RBI triple to right. A Mason Cassady walk was followed by Reeves’ run-scoring single. Singles off the bats of Zac Branham and Dorton drove runs 11 and 12. A Bradwin Salmond single knocked in runs 13 and 14.

L-E collected 10 hits on the night led by Branham going 3-for-4. Boone added a pair of hits for the winners who improved to 18-6 on the season.