ST. JOHN — Sam Miller raced back to the wall to try to track down a long fly hit by Lake Central’s Brenden Seren in the third inning Tuesday.

The Valparaiso left fielder stretched his glove to the sky, caught the ball and then crashed into the fence.

Seren ended up a home run shy of the hitting for the cycle in the Indians’ 8-5 victory.

“I wasn’t thinking about it at first, but once I had the double (in the fifth inning), I was like ‘if I get a single, that would have been the cycle,’” Seren said with a grin. “And then I got (the single, in the sixth inning). I was like ‘wow.’

“It happens. But I can’t put myself down. It was a pretty good day still.”

Seren went 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBI. He tripled during Lake Central’s three-run first inning.

“He was really good at the plate,” Lake Central coach Jeff Sandor said. “He drove in a few runs when we really needed them early in the game.”

Alec Olund and Brad Staszewski also had three hits for the Indians. Olund had two RBI. Ryan Burvan had two singles and scored twice in the victory.

“We were just doing what we do,” Seren said of the team’s 12-hit performance.

Lake Central scored the three in the first inning and three more in the fourth to build a 6-2 lead.

Valparaiso attempted to get back into the game in the fifth. The Vikings already had one run home in the inning, and looked for more by loading the bases with one out.

Devin Bafia flew out to right field. Steve Fulk fired home and cut down Drew Weston for an inning-ending double play.

“That was a game-changing play,” Sandor said.

“I was thinking before it was even hit to me ‘if I get it, I’m gunning home,’” Fulk said. “When we played Merrillville the other week, I had an opportunity to throw a guy out and I didn’t do it. So I thought ‘this time I’m going to do it.’”

Valparaiso (8-9, 5-6) kept fighting and eventually brought the tying run to the plate with one out in the seventh. Blake Bosold retired the next two hitters to secure the victory.

Ethan Lehnen had three singles and two RBI in the loss.

“One thing you can say about these kids is that they never quit, they work very hard,” Valparaiso coach Dave Coyle said. “… I think it would be a little bit easier for all of us if we don’t have that dry spell in the middle (of the game).”