Caleb McLaughlin pitching

Senior Caleb McLaughlin pitched a complete game and went 4-for-4 in the win against Woodruff.

A barrage of hits catapulted Emerald to victory on Wednesday as the Vikings used just five innings to defeat Woodruff, 13-2.

The hits came early and often for the Vikings as senior Caleb McLaughlin would once again reach base safely thanks to a lead-off double. Two batters later, an RBI-single by Jordan Bearden pushed the first run of the game across.

Along with consistent hitting, Emerald translated its aggressive approach at the plate to the base pads. During a three-run first inning for the Vikings, the first six batters moved up 90 feet into scoring position whether it was on a passed ball or a stolen base.

“That’s always our mentality especially with the guys we have,” Emerald head coach Colby Painter said. “Our top six guys can really run it. Getting those extra bases and putting extra pressure on a team is always key.”

The extra pressure allowed for more walks and allowed for Emerald to keep getting back to the top of the order. As a result, the Vikings would have runners in scoring position for hot bats such as McLaughlin’s to cash in. The senior did just that as he went 4-for-4 with two doubles and a team-leading three RBIs.

“It’s good to see because I have seen that potential with him for the past couple of years,” Painter said. “Now that its out here and he sees it, he is just building confidence. Every [at-bat] he is ready to swing and he is ready to attack the baseball.”

McLaughlin was not the only run-producer as Emerald’s top six batters all registered an RBI in the win. Despite the recent success at home, the Vikings have dropped its recent games on the road something it will look to correct as the team travels Tuesday to play Clinton.

“We are playing well at home which is good but when we are on the away side of it, we need to make sure we are taking the same approach, the same mentality, the same energy to these away games,” Painter said.

Contact sports writer James Benedetto at 864-943-1814.