After having Sumter spoil his team’s chance at taking a sweep of their three-game Region 4-5A series with a 9-8 win last Friday night, Lugoff-Elgin baseball coach Randy Stokes simply looked ahead and to trying to secure another series when his team took on Spring Valley this week.
The Demons will try and do what Sumter did to them tonight when they host the Vikings in a 6:30 p.m. start at Optimist Field on Military Appreciation Night with all veterans and current military personnel being admitted into the game free of charge.
Spring Valley followed up Monday’s 4-3 win over the host Demons by defending their home field with a 7-2 victory on Wednesday to take a 2-0 lead in the three-game set. The loss was the third in a row for L-E, who saw their region mark fall at 2-3. The Demons stand at 4-5 overall.
In falling to the Vikings for the second time in three nights, the Demons stranded 10 runners on base while scoring two runs off eight hits. The hosts parlayed 10 hits into seven runs on a night in which L-E answered a three-run Vikings’ first inning with two runs in the top half of the second.
After leaving the bags filled in the first, Ty Dooley opened the L-E second with a leadoff single to center. Heath Stokes then reached on an error before J.C. LeGrand legged out an infield single to load the bases with nobody out. Dooley came in with the first run on a Sawyer Reeves sacrifice fly to left with Heath Stokes scoring on a Jake Laffin ground out.
The Vikes tacked on a fourth run in the bottom of the second with L-E having runners on second and third with one gone in the third only to come away empty.
SV scored one in the third and closed the scoring with two more in the fourth to extend its lead to 7-2.
The Demons sent Witt Branham to the mound for his first varsity start on Wednesday and the right-hander worked the first four frames, allowing two earned runs while walking a pair. Brandon Lankford and Walker Branham worked an inning each for the visitors.
Sawyer Reeves and Witt Branham combined for half of L-E’s hits with a pair of singles each.
Spring Valley took the series opener by scoring three runs in the top of the seventh to rally from a 3-1 deficit and leave Optimist Field with a 4-3 win over Lugoff-Elgin in a Monday night Region 4-5A baseball game.
The loss was the second in a row for the hosts.
The visiting Vikings scored the game’s first run in the top of the second and nursed that one-run cushion until the Demons pushed across a pair in the fifth, after being held to one hit through the first four frames.
Brandon Lankford’s one-out double to center got things started. Heath Stokes then got aboard on a dropped third strike to put runners on the corners. A wild pitch allowed Lankford to score while Stokes took second. Stokes later scored on a second wild pitch to give the hosts a 2-1 lead.
An inning later, Sawyer Reeves opened the bottom of the sixth with a single and took second on the play before advancing to third on a Will Morris single. Reeves came home with the third Demon run on a Walker Branham fielders’ choice.
The top of the seventh began innocently enough for SV with Jaylen Davis getting on with a one-out walk. With two gone and Davis on first Kyhree Miller’s line was played into a three-base error as David came around from first with the second Vikings’ run. Frank Tolar followed with an RBI triple to knot things at 3-3 before he scored on an error.
The Demons went down in order in the seventh.
The Demons were out-hit by their guests, 8-4, with Reeves having a pair of singles. Zack Reynolds started the game on the mound and went the first 6.2 innings allowing four runs of which three were unearned. He had four strikeouts and three walks before handing the ball over to Lankford who got the final out.
Reese Lumpkin went the distance for the Vikings, allowing three earned runs with five strikeouts without issuing a walk.
After tonight’s game, the Demons visit Camden on Saturday in a 1:30 p.m. start.