Spring Valley bounced back from a rough week at the Forest Acres Classic to secure an important Region 4-4A baseball win over Lugoff-Elgin on Monday at Clyde Lee Field.
The Vikings, who went 1-3 at the A.C. Flora tournament, inched closer to nailing down the region’s No. 2 seed in the upcoming state playoffs by downing the visiting Demons 10-0 in five innings.
The win put the Vikings at 7-2 in region matters and completed a season sweep of Lugoff-Elgin, which suffered its third region loss and now must battle it out with Dutch Fork down the stretch for the No. 3 seed.
“This was a good way to bounce back, it really was,” said SV manager Collin Liggett. “Offensively, we swung the bats, and that tends to take some the pressure off when you are in stuck in a bad stretch like we were last week.”
Spring Valley jumped on L-E junior left-hander Taylor Lunsford early and often. Austin Hill smashed a three-run home run to left-center field in the first inning and Anthony Paulsen cleared the bases with a double off the center field fence in the second to up the lead to 6-0.
The Vikings chased Lunsford in the third and worked over reliever Ryan Hinson. Ben Taylor had a two-run double to center field, Mitchell Griffin followed with a double to plate Taylor and Collin Trenery closed out the scoring with a RBI single to make it 10-0 after three full innings.
The game became official when a Lugoff-Elgin runner was tagged out at the plate for the final out in the top of the fifth inning.
Trenery and Paulsen highlighted the 10-hit Spring Valley attack with two safeties apiece.
Left-hander Gene Cone was stellar on the hill, tossing a three-hit shutout with eight strikeouts.
The Demons had their leadoff man reach base in each of the first three innings, but could not string together much else against Cone.
Spring Valley (11-8 overall) has four more regular season games left, and can officially secure a second-place finish with a win on Friday at Dutch Fork.
“I think the guys are starting to realize that we can be a very good baseball team when we are on our game, so hopefully we’re going to peak at just the right time,” said Liggett.