OAKBORO, N.C. — A surge in the middle innings nearly got the Richmond Raider baseball team back ahead on the scoreboard on Thursday.
Unfortunately, the Raiders ran out of steam and fell 9-6 to tough non-conference opponent West Stanly High School.
An early two-run lead was undone for Richmond when the Colts scored seven runs in the bottom of the third. With the help of a four-run top of the fifth inning, the Raiders closed the gap to just a run.
But West Stanly (17-3) held off the Raiders and added two insurance runs late.
After a scoreless first inning by both teams, Richmond struck first with a pair of runs in the top of the second. A one-out single by sophomore Mason Murray, one of nine hits for Richmond, set up an RBI single by senior Ethan Locklear to center.
Advancing to third, Locklear scored in the next at-bat when junior Zaviar Lowry grounded out to second base.
A total of 13 batters made a trip to the plate in the bottom of the third for the Colts, resulting in the seven spot off starting junior pitcher Camron Seagraves (2.2 IP, 7 runs, 4 hits, 3 Ks).
West Stanly scored using back-to-back RBI singles, a passed ball, a runner tagging up on a foul out, another RBI single and passed ball, and a base knock to left field.
Taking over to get the final out of the inning was junior James Eason (3.1 IP, 2 runs, 3 hits, 5 Ks), who pitched the rest of the game.
Richmond got its offense going in the fifth off starter Jett Thomas (4.1 IP, 6 runs, 8 hits, 3 walks). A walk by sophomore Landon Taylor and a single from Seagraves, coupled with a passed ball, put runners in scoring position.
Senior Ethan Clayton dug in and delivered a two-RBI single the opposite way to left, cutting the deficit to 7-4 with no outs.
Two at-bats later, junior Isaac Hinshaw roped an RBI double on a line drive to the gap, bringing home Clayton. Pinch running for Hinshaw was junior Davis Faw, who moved up 90 feet on a wild pitch.
With relief pitcher Eli Toole on the mound, senior Ashton Phifer was plunked by a pitch and helped score Faw from third on a double steal to make it a one-run game.
But that’s as close as the Raiders would get, as they stranded a base runner in both the sixth and seventh frames. The Colts scored two runs in the sixth on a two-RBI double.
Seagraves’ two hits led the team, as Clayton, Eason, Hinshaw, Faw, Murray, Locklear and Taylor each had one hit. Clayton’s two RBI were a team-high, with Hinshaw, Locklear and Lowry all driving in a run.
Richmond (12-8, 6-4 Sandhills Athletic Conference) was supposed to play at home against Myers Park on Saturday, but Ransom confirmed that both the varsity and junior varsity games have been canceled.
Next for the Raiders will be a two-game series with Scotland High School (11-7, 3-6 SAC) to close the regular season. Tuesday’s game will be at home, starting at 7 p.m.
Currently, the Raiders are third in the SAC standings and in second place of the three 4A schools in the split conference. Scotland is in sixth place, three games ahead of last-place Hoke County.