Valley baseball bounces back with 3-1 win over Calvary

Published 10:12 pm Monday, March 18, 2019

VALLEY — One simple question from Valley head baseball coach Patrick Shivers resulted at the end of the Rams’ (4-5) three-game losing streak with a 3-1 victory over Calvary Christian on Monday night.

“We were heading into the bottom of the sixth inning,” Shivers said. “We were coming back into the dugout from the field, and I told them ‘do you all remember when I was talking with you the other day about how we lost to Russell County [3-2 on March 11]? I told you all how good Russell County was, and how good teams find a way to win these close games. Are we a good team?’”

Valley responded in that half of the inning with a leadoff home run from senior Andrue Davis, which proved to be the go-ahead run of the night to give the Rams a 2-1 lead. Senior Cody Lumpkin then singled to left field. Junior Daniel Osborne singled to center field, and a sacrifice bunt from sophomore Hunter Meadows advanced both runners in scoring position. An RBI single from seventh-grader Jackson Sanders drove in the insurance run for Valley to push the lead to 3-1.

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Junior Will Bush hit the first RBI for the Rams to tie the score at 1-1 in the bottom of the second inning.

“Hitting is contagious,” Shivers said. “It just takes somebody to ignite it, and the senior Andrue, who’s been struggling at the plate this year, came through with a much-needed boost of confidence.”

Lumpkin gave the Rams a complete game on the hill, throwing 23 first-pitch strikes in the victory. Valley played solid defense on the night and have now given up an average of 3.5 runs in the last four games.

“I’ve told the team all year long that pitching and defense are how you’re going to win games,” Shivers said. “Even good teams struggle at the plate. All good teams struggle at the plate at times, but if you don’t pitch, if you don’t throw strikes, you don’t play solid defense and make the routine plays behind your pitcher, then you don’t stand a chance. 

“Early tonight, we were struggling at the plate. The pitcher was throwing strikes, we weren’t walking guys and the defense was making routine plays.”

Valley has some time off before returning home on Friday to host Dadeville (8-4, 3-0). Shivers said the next two games are crucial for the Rams against Dadeville and Lanett before beginning area play next week.