ROCKINGHAM — Seven innings weren’t enough for the JV Raiders on Tuesday, who used a walk-off single to edge Freedom Christian Academy 2-1 in eight innings.
Sophomore Riley Brown set the tempo with 7.0 innings of work, striking out a career-high 14 batters in the process. He allowed just three hits and gave up an earned run in the first.
Brown faced four batters in the second, third, fourth and sixth innings, and retired the JV Patriots in order in the fifth and seventh frames before reaching the pitch count.
The 1-0 lead by the JV Patriots held all the way through the bottom of the seventh when the JV Raiders tied it.
Brown led off the seventh with a single to left, one of eight hits for the team. He later scored when sophomore Garret Mabe connected on an RBI double to left field.
After sophomore Jason Walker pitched a 1-2-3 top of the eight, freshman C.J. Jenkins walked it off with a line drive RBI single to center. The bases were loaded, allowing sophomore Jeremiah Ritter (infield single) to score.
Brown and sophomore Brooks Calhoun each had two hits, while Ritter, Jenkins, Mabe and freshman Evan Hodges each had one.
“Riley went out, filled up the zone and did what we needed him to do,” head coach Ryan Mercer said. “Anytime you have 14 strikeouts in 7 innings is impressive. I’m really proud of him even though we didn’t have a lot of offense to back him up. He kept his nose down and pitched really well.
“And C.J. comes up with the bases loaded and gets a strike, so I told him to relax and go with a two-strike approach and try to find something up the middle. He hit a hard line drive to center to walk it off, scoring Jeremiah, who started it by beating out a ground ball.”
The JV Raiders (10-2-1) will make-up a rain out from earlier in the season at Southern Lee High School on Thursday at 4 p.m.