Spring Valley rolled to its eighth straight victory on Wednesday, downing visiting Ridge 10-5.
The Vikings have been on fire since opening the season with back-to-back losses at the RBI preseason tournament at White Knoll. Since then, Spring Valley’s attack has been in high gear. Charlie Wentzky’s team is averaging 9.3 runs per game during its current winning streak.
Moreover, Spring Valley completed the first half of the Region 4-4A campaign with a perfect 6-0 grade and a one-game lead over Blythewood. The rematch with the Bengals is set for next Tuesday, March 29.
On the other hand, Ridge View (4-6, 1-4) is mired in a slump. The Blazers have lost five in a row and allowed 49 runs during the skid.
Ridge View took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning despite getting just one hit. Michael Coyle’s leadoff double to left field was the only safety in the inning of Spring Valley left-hander Ben Taylor, but walks and two Vikings errors paved the way for all three runs.
Spring Valley responded with four runs in the bottom of the first. Anthony Paulsen stroked a clutch, two-out, two-run single to right field, and a dropped fly ball resulted in two more Vikings runs.
Ridge View scored single runs in the second and fourth innings to regain the lead, 5-4. But Spring Valley regained the edge for good on Taylor Guerrieri’s three-run home run to left field in the bottom of the fourth off Blazers starter Kyle Baldwin.
Aaron Laughead was the winner in relief of Taylor, who was lifted after issuing back-to-back walks to open the fourth inning. Laughead allowed no runs and just two hits the rest of the way, striking out three.
Guerrieri had a big night at the dish, reaching base four times. In addition to the game-winning homer, the senior star had a single, drew a walk, was hit by a pitch and scored three runs to go along with the three RBIs.
Teammates Paulsen, Gene Cone and Kevin Hastings also had productive outings. Paulsen had two hits, two runs scored, two RBIs and drew a walk in four plate appearances. Cone did not have a hit out of the leadoff spot, but drew three walks and scored twice. Hastings drew a walk and scored and rapped a RBI single out of the No. 9 hole.
Coyle led the Blazers with a single, a double, a walk, two stolen bases and two runs scored.