The visiting Vikings would send righty Griffin Hollifield to the mound to face off against senior lefty Chris Moody (Erskine).
Not much action early until Mark Duroux singled in the top of the 2nd inning in an 0-2 count. After a sacrifice bunt, a hit by pitch, and a single by freshman outfielder Chase Hayes, the bases were full of Vikings with one out. The Blazers would catch a break as a bunt attempt was lined to the first baseman and the charging third baseman was able to get back to the bag in time to double up the Vikings. In the bottom half of the inning James Sims would single and Bryce Patrick would follow before Casey Poole's two RBI double. Drew Chambers would hit an RBI double to and trade places with Poole, and Chris Moody would also hit an RBI double to give the Blazers the 4-0 lead after two complete innings.
In the top of the 3rd Hunter Purvis would single and Tyler Baker would hit a double to deep center field, one hopping the fence and scoring the first run of the game for the Vikings. It looked like the Vikings would be in business but a pick off at second base would end the threat before they could add to the lone run. In the bottom of the 3rd Tyler Unangst would single before Bryce Patrick would come through with the RBI single and after the 3rd Ridge View maintains their four run cushion leading 5-1.
Moving right along in to the 4th inning the Viking would pose a serious threat with bases loaded after three singles, and after a run was walked in, Moody would get cleanup hitter Matt Ross to fly out to left field to work out of the jam only giving up a run. Nothing doing for Ridge View and we are at 5-2 Ridge View after the fourth.
Tyler Baker's homerun to left center field brought the Vikings to within two runs but Blazer catcher Bryce Patrick would cut down a steal attempt to clear the Vikings in the top of the 5th.
We move to the bottom of the 6th and defense starts to come up big for the Vikings as the left and right fielders take away hits from the Blazers.
In the top of the 7th the Vikings would get the lead off Matt Ross on by dribbling a ball on the right side of the infield that he was able to beat out, but a web gem by Blazer SS Casey Poole would get the Blazers' fans out of their seats when he took away a hit diving behind the bag at second base and flipping it to second baseman Logan Sherry to turn the double play. Moody would get a fly out to get the complete game victory.
Spring Valley 3
Ridge View 5
Prospects and Game Notes
Chase Hays - Freshman Outfielder
Hays bats lefty and led off for the Vikings and showed some good wheels in the outfield. He has a short athletic build. He hit a sharp single up the middle in his second at bat and ran the bases hard. He is young and it's a lot of responsibility to bat lead off on a AAAA team much less as a freshman. I hope to see him some more to see how he progresses, he is a definite follow.
Tyler Baker - Junior Inf/RHP
Baker stood tall at the plate and drove a couple balls to deep center tonight, one was a double that one-hopped the fence on a fastball up and away. The other ball was a homerun. He needs to shore up that base running because he got picked at second base one time. If he continues to mash he could work his way on to college coaches radars.
Chris Moody (Erskine) - Senior OF/LHP
Moody was effective on the mound tonight picking up the complete game win. Heis a strike thrower and challenged hitters most of the night. The strike zone fluctuated a bit tonight which is not uncommon in high school games but he kept chugging along for his team. He topped out at 80mph on this night. His position will be in the outfield in college, and he handled pitching and batting leadoff well. Not his best night hitting as many of the Blazers were rolling over but he has shown some home run pop and can certainly drive the ball.
James Sims - Senior OF/C
Sims was DH tonight but has some wheels as a catcher and runs well as an outfielder as well. Long lanky frame that has put on some muscle since last season. He leads the Blazers in most offensive categories including batting average and he had a couple singles tonight. He is sneaky fast and was able to steal third base. The biggest question will be what position he tries to pursue. He is playing behind a very good defensive catcher but as a coach you have to keep his bat in the lineup. Would be a great fit at a JUCO.
Bryce Patrick - Junior C
One of the best defensive catchers I have seen in the midlands. He was between 1.95 and 2.1 all night between innings. He threw out a pinch runner after scooping a ball clean in the dirt and it wasn't close. He puts the ball on the bag consistently. The biggest question will be his bat, the defense is there. Depending on how well he hits he could find himself in a very good situation after next season.
Casey Poole - MIF/RHP
Poole made one of the best defensive plays I have seen this year diving on a ball hit behind the bag to not only stop it which was impressive, but flip to second to start the double play that all but sealed the win. He also hit a two RBI double batting in the seven-hole. The question here again will be the bat. If he hits he can play and excel in college. Solid frame and he knows how to get the fans going.
This is a very competitive region, and it seems like the teams are beating each other and it could come down to the wire but these teams have players and can give some good teams fits in the playoffs. I would not be opposed to seeing this region go to the three game series format like the Pee Dee/Myrtle Beach region has done. That way you see whose team has the depth since one game here and there with a rainout thrown in can really help one team line up their best arms, but a three game series would allow the teams to display their pitching depth which would come in to play in the playoffs anyway. Good game.