Hidden Valley rode the arm of ace pitcher Ryan Lauria, and got an assist from Mother Nature, as the Titans defeated Pulaski County 3-1 Friday afternoon at Titan Field in a River Ridge baseball showdown.
Hidden Valley, looking to remain undefeated in district play, found itself in a dogfight with the scrappy Cougars before a sign of lightning, and subsequent torrential downpour minutes later, sent spectators looking for cover and ended the game with the Titans batting with two outs and the bases empty in the bottom of the fifth.
When the field became a quagmire, umpire crew chief Ben Minton called the game, and it went into the books as a Hidden Valley win since enough innings had been played to constitute an official contest.
Pulaski County, which entered the game 1-6 in the River Ridge District, looked anything but a bottom-half team after taking a 1-0 lead in the first on a solo homer to deep right-center by first baseman Tyler Blevins.
Titan pitcher and Louisville-signee Ryan Lauria kept the Cougar bats at bay the rest of the afternoon, striking out eight and allowing only three hits in his abbreviated five innings of work. Lauria improved to 6-1 on the season.
With the Cougars still holding the 1-0 lead going to the bottom of the third, Hidden Valley struck for its only runs of the game.
Troy Paplomatas got things started with a single through the right side. Jonathan Richmond followed with a towering blast over the left field fence to put the Titans up 2-1.
The next Hidden Valley batter, Jack Moore, doubled, stole third and scored on a slow roller for the third Hidden Valley run, giving Lauria all the cushion he would need.
Hidden Valley improved to 14-3 overall with the win.
by Bill Turner