LINDEN — George Valencia was near perfect and the bats came alive in a 9-1 American Legion Byron Cox Post No. 72 win over Lafayette Post No. 11 on Wednesday night at North Montgomery.
The former Fountain Central right-hander took a no-hitter into the sixth before allowing just two hits, a single run and struck-out 12 in a complete game effort.
The win pushes Post 72 to 11-9 on the season as they’ve won three of their last four, including a runner-up finish at the Danville, Ill tourney this past weekend.
“We started gaining some momentum this weekend playing in the Danville tournament, we got to the championship game and were up 8-3,” Post 72 coach Kyle Proctor said.
The championship ended in a 9-8 loss to the host team due to Post 72 running out of pitching, but Proctor feels like they have three guys that can serve as their ace as they prepare for the state tournament.
Valencia is one of those guys and he was on his game Wednesday as were the bats behind him.
Post 72 plated six runs in the second inning on six hits, including a two-run home run from Seeger’s Cade Walker.
“The first inning I was kind of like ‘why are we not swinging the bat?’ but the second inning we got the six-spot and then just kept going,” Proctor said. “I’m glad to see they finally decided it was a good idea to play a complete game.”
North Montgomery’s Jacob Braun and Clinton Prairie’s Landen Southern each added home runs. Southern’s blast was his third in the last two games.
“This weekend at Danville we had several home runs, and started hitting the ball and put together a string of things and then it carried over to today,” Proctor said. “Hitting has been coming around a lot, and the last five games we’ve started to come together as a team. Everybody is finally starting to square up and git the ball right and hit the ball hard.”
Valencia also had three hits, while Braun, Southern, and Walker each drove in a pair of runs.
Post 72 hosts Terre Haute tonight at North Montgomery.