Home Local Sports Ethan Clayton: The Official Richmond County Male Athlete of the Week

Ethan Clayton: The Official Richmond County Male Athlete of the Week

Senior first baseman Ethan Clayton has been named the Official Richmond County Male Athlete of the Week. (Kyle Pillar, sports editor)

ROCKINGHAM — Senior baseball player Ethan Clayton has been recognized as the Official Richmond County Male Athlete of the Week presented by HWY 55.

In week two of the regular season, Clayton’s bat continued to produce for Richmond, helping the team finish with two wins in three games. As a team, the Raiders are 4-1 to start the spring.

A two-year varsity player, Clayton’s power hitting from the left side and solid defense at first base helped him earn his first career recognition.

Athletic Profile

Year: Senior

Spring Sport: Baseball

Position: Infielder/Catcher

Years on Varsity: 2 years

Other Sports: Football


Richmond started its week with a road game to open Sandhills Athletic Conference play at Southern Lee High School last Tuesday. The Raiders were shutout 7-0 and only recorded two hits, including one from Clayton, a single to lead off the top of the fourth.

A night later against non-conference Western Harnett High School, Clayton brought the power for a big night at the plate. He went 3-for-4 with two singles and a double, a team-high four runs batted in and crossed the plate twice.

In the 11-1 mercy-rule win in five innings over the Eagles, Clayton gave the Raiders a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the third when he smoked an RBI double off the base of the wall in right field. He scored two at-bats later when Isaac Hinshaw hit an RBI groundout.

Facing relief pitcher Braylen Wright in the next inning, Clayton dialed up the first offering to score two more runs with the bases loaded on a single to center. Clayton scored to make it 10-1 when Ashton Phifer grounded out to second.

Icing the early win, Clayton added one more RBI single in the bottom of the fifth inning. This time he barreled a pop fly base knock to shallow left field, allowing junior courtesy runner Davis Faw the chance to score.

Richmond capped its three-game week with a 3-2 redemption win over Southern Lee on Friday. Walking it off with two outs in the seventh with a two-RBI single was Hinshaw, but Clayton proved to be the tying run.

He drew two walks in the game, the second one with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. A single by James Eason was followed by Hinshaw’s game-winning hit.

Through five games this season, Clayton leads the team in RBIs (7), slugging percentage (.643) and is tied with Eason for the team-lead in hits (5). Clayton is second in batting average (.357) and on-base percentage (.526), and has the Raiders’ only homer this spring.


Richmond (4-1, 1-1 SAC) will play three more games this week, starting with two SAC games against Pinecrest High School (5-1, 0-0 SAC). The week will end with a road game at West Stanly High School on Saturday.

Ethan Clayton runs out of the batter’s box following his two-RBI single against Western Harnett. (Kyle Pillar/The Richmond Observer)


In his interview, Clayton talks about his early success, the team’s goals for the upcoming week and what he plans to do after graduation.

The Richmond Observer will publish two more Official Richmond County Athletes of the Week next week.

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Kyle Pillar is a 16-time North Carolina Press Association award-winning sports editor with The Richmond Observer. Follow the sports department on Twitter @ROSports_ for the best in-depth coverage of Richmond County sports.