Spring Valley and Ridge View opened the Region 4-4A baseball season with wins on Friday night. Blythewood’s Class 4A region debut at Lancaster was postponed because of the cold, wet weather.
Spring Valley, which has won three in a row after getting off to an 0-3 start, rallied to beat Rock Hill 3-2 with two runs on the bottom of the seventh inning on clutch, two-out RBI hits by freshman Austin Hill and junior Jared Keels.
Trailing 2-1, Joc Brunson opened the bottom of the seventh with a single, but was still at first base with Spring Valley down to its last at bat. Hill, who is the son of Ridge View coach Tommy Hill, drilled a shot to the gap for a double to score Brunson. Keels then ripped a drive down the third base line for the game-winning hit.
Keels also emerged as the winning pitcher, tossing two innings in relief. Starter Jake Zokan allowed just three hits and had nine strikeouts in his five-inning stint, and he accounted for SV’s first run with a home run.
Ridge View had no such in its six-inning 10-0 conquest of South Pointe. Scotty Baldwin improved to 2-0 on the hill by tossing a four-hit shutout. Baldwin has allowed only one earned in 12.1 innings to date.
Tony Price, Julio Iglesias and Hughston Armstrong led the Blazers hitting assault. Price had two hits, including a three-run homer in the second inning. Iglesias had three hits and three RBIs, ripping a two-run, bases loaded double in the fifth. The fleet Armstrong has three hits, two of them being bunt singles.
Ridge View now stands at 4-2.
“We didn’t play well in the field in two losses coming into this game, and we cleaned things up a little bit,” said Blazers manager Hill.
RV was guilty of melt-down innings in setbacks Airport and Lugoff-Elgin earlier in the week – four errors in one frame in the 7-3 loss to Airport, and three boots in an inning in a 10-4 loss to L-E.