LUCASVILLE — By George, the Valley Indians indeed are on their game.
They definitely were on Tuesday for sure, as Valley vanquished visiting Fairfield in a Division IV baseball sectional championship tilt — scoring in every inning sans the second and blanking the underdog Lions 10-0 in a six-inning mercy-rule duel.
The Indians amounted markers in single fashion for innings three, four and finally the sixth for the mercy rule —as Valley did the bulk of its damage in the initial at-bat with three runs and later four more in the fourth.
In the sixth, Chris Queen doubled to lead off, and after a Carter Nickel single followed by two strikeouts, scored on a game-ending single by Andrew Andronis.
Andronis and Queen collected three hits apiece of the Indians’ 13, as Queen both tripled and doubled and Andronis doubled.
Nickel doubled and Breckon Williams tripled and was hit by a pitch, as Andronis and Queen tallied three runs batted in apiece as well.
Chase Morrow muscled two hits, as Hunter Edwards, Nick Mowery and Jace Copley all singled once.
Morrow and Edwards added RBIs, as Andronis, Williams and Morrow scored two runs with Queen, Nickel, Copley and Colt Buckle all crossing once.
Buckle and George Arnett also walked twice, as Arnett did no such walking of the Fairfield batters he faced.
In tossing a complete-game four-hit gem as Valley made no errors, Arnett only threw 63 pitches with 45 for strikes —facing 20 total Lions and striking out six.
He allowed a leadoff single to Will Collins, but the Indians quickly turned a one-out 6-4-3 double play.
Arnett actually retired seven straight Lions before Dow Moon singled in the third with two outs, but he was left stranded at first.
Noah Allering and Hunter Burns then singled in the fourth for the final Fairfield hits, as the sophomore ace Arnett then sat down the final seven Lions he saw.
Jake Morgan, who pitched the first four innings for Fairfield before being relieved by Allering, allowed five earned Indian runs on six hits with five walks and four strikeouts.
Allering allowed four earned runs on seven hits over the final two, walking one and striking out three.
Indeed, Valley —the top-seeded squad in the entire Southeast District Division IV tournament — played like it against 16th-seeded Fairfield.
“I was thrilled with almost every aspect tonight. George (Arnett) pitched the way George pitches. He gets ahead and forces weak contact. Our defense played very well tonight and Andrew Andronis had two or three big plays at shortstop. Offensively, we had production from top to bottom. Everyone one thru nine in the order contributed,” said Valley coach Nolan Crabtree. “Just pleased that we are trending in the right direction at the most important point of the season.”
That point is now the Division IV district tournament, as the Indians upped their record on Tuesday to 16-11.
Valley now returns home, and returns to district semifinal action, on Saturday against eighth-seeded Ironton St. Joseph.
The Flyers defeated ninth-seeded Notre Dame 4-1 in another sectional title bout on Tuesday.
First pitch on Saturday from The Reservation is set for high noon.
Reach Paul Boggs at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1926, by email at email@example.com, or on Twitter @BoggsSports © 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved