FAYETTEVILLE — A dry spell at the plate during Wednesday’s game didn’t support another strong pitching performance for the Richmond Raider baseball team.
Competing in the fifth-place game of the Terry Sanford Easter Invitational, the Raiders dropped their second straight game after winning the tournament opener.
Facing Midway High School, Richmond registered just two hits in a close 1-0 loss.
“The bats went cold for sure,” head coach Rob Ransom said. “We’ve scored zero runs in our last 11 innings.
“It was a good game, well played by both teams. (Midway) didn’t make an error and their pitcher gave up just two hits and walked one batter.”
One highlight for the Raiders was having senior pitcher and outfielder Ethan Locklear named to the All-Tournament team.
During the three-game stretch, Locklear batted .250 with a single, a double and three runs batted in. He also drew a walk, reached on an error and scored one run.
In Richmond’s 6-5 win over Wayne Country Day High School in the tournament opener, Locklear pitched a 6.1-inning gem and earned the win. He allowed five runs on six hits and struck out seven batters, while also working out of a pair of bases-loaded jams.
During Wednesday’s action, it was junior Camron Seagraves who went to work for the Raiders. He threw 4.2 innings, struck out an even dozen batters and surrendered just one earned run on one hit.
Sophomore Allen Taylor went the rest of the way, tossing 1.1 innings with zeroes across the board and two strikeouts.
Both teams mirrored each other through the first two innings, going down in order in the first and sending four batters to the plate in the second.
The Raiders stranded four runners on base in the game, with two being left stranded in the top of the third. Seagraves led off with a single to center off starter John McLamb (CG, two hits, seven Ks), just one of two hits by the Raiders.
Senior Ethan Clayton drew McLamb’s only base on balls in the game in the next at-bat, but a ground out ended the threat.
With one away in the bottom of the third, Seagraves hit Tripp Westbrook with a pitch. That was followed by the Midway Raiders’ lone hit of the game, an RBI triple by Casey Culbreth to make it 1-0.
Richmond was retired in order in the fourth, sixth and seventh frames by McLamb. The team’s only other hit came from junior Javian Drake, who hustled out an infield single to short. That two-out hit was left on base with another ground out to end the fifth.
Seagraves reached the pitch count after recording the second out in the top of the fifth, as Taylor took over with a runner on first. Just two pitches later, Taylor got Wyatt Herring to fly out.
In the bottom of the sixth, one of Richmond’s two errors in the game allowed a base runner with one out, but Taylor recorded a pair of strikeouts to keep the deficit at a run.
McLamb threw just 10 pitches in the top of the seventh to induce a ground out and two fly outs to end the game.
The Raiders (11-7) will continue regular-season play on Tuesday against non-conference Freedom Christian Academy (10-9). The home game will start at 6:30 p.m.