LUCASVILLE — The Valley Indians and Clay Panthers have both been contenders in their respective league races to start the 2021 season.
And as both will be competitors in this year’s Division IV district seeding, Tuesday’s meeting between the two — albeit a non-league meeting — may carry weight come postseason time as we near the middle of April.
After the Panthers scored each of their four runs in the top of the 3rd inning to take a 4-0 advantage, the Indians rattled off seven-straight runs beginning with a four-run 4th and captured the 7-4 win, improving their overall mark to 6-4.
A pair of errors led to Clay’s first run scored by senior Clay Cottle. Mitchell King then drove in seniors Jaden Jessee and Evan Woods to make it 3-0 Clay just before a run was scored by junior Carson Porginski for the Panthers’ final run of the game.
Each of Valley’s four runs in the home half of the fourth came with two outs.
Senior Andrew Andronis had a two RBI single that scored Chase Morrow and Austin McIntosh and cut Clay’s lead to 4-2.
In their next AB, Valley senior Breckon Williams had a two RBI single of his own, scoring Blake Wood and Andronis from third and second base.
Morrow scored the go-ahead run in the fifth on a Clay error at third base to give Valley a 5-4 lead.
A one out two RBI double by George Arnett in the bottom of the 6th scored Andronis and Williams and gave the Indians their final runs and a 7-4 lead.
Carter Nickel earned the win for Valley on the mound, allowing just five hits and one earned run while striking out five.
Christopher Queen entered in relief and allowed just one hit and struck out five in two innings pitched.
Shaden Malone was credited with the loss while allowing six hits, four earned runs and striking out six.
Clay: 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 — 4 6 3
Valley: 0 0 0 4 1 2 X — 7 7 3
W: Nickel (V), L: Malone (C), S: Queen (V)