LAURINBURG — Another close battle on the scoreboard between the Richmond baseball team and Scotland High School ended in a tough loss for the Raiders on Monday.
Capping the regular season on the road against the Fighting Scots, the Raiders nearly completed the comeback, but fell 3-2.
A make-up game from last week due to weather, it was the Raiders’ fourth loss in five games down the final stretch of the season.
The low-scoring affair saw the Raiders out-hit the Fighting Scots, putting eight hits on the board to Scotland’s two.
Seeing the same pitcher from last Tuesday’s meeting, Scotland’s Blane Wagner threw 6.0 innings and gave up all eight hits and two earned runs on three walks.
The difference maker on Monday, head coach Rob Ransom said, was an unfriendly foe that has haunted the Raiders recently.
“It’s kind of been the same story during the backend of our season,” Ransom shared. “It boils down to not getting hits when we need to with runners on base.
“We played good defense and had decent pitching. But when we don’t get hits and leave nine runners on base, that’s hard to overcome. We had runners in scoring position in every inning except the fifth and couldn’t take advantage of those opportunities.”
The Raiders left the bases loaded in the first, stranded two runners on base in the second and third frames, and left a runner on in each of the final two innings. Of those nine runners, six were in scoring position.
Junior Camron Seagraves got the start for the Raiders on the mound and tossed 6.0 innings. He limited the Fighting Scots to just two hits, while allowing three runs (one earned) with 10 strikeouts.
Scotland (14-7, 6-6 SAC) took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Garrett Manning hit a two-RBI single.
The Raiders got a run back in the top of the second after junior Zaviar Lowry (single), sophomore Landon Taylor (single) and Seagraves (walk) loaded the bases with one away.
Senior Ashton Phifer hustled out the double play attempt on a grounder to second, allowing Lowry to score.
Tying the game 2-2 in the top of the fourth, junior James Eason came up to the plate with runners on the corners. Laying down a sacrifice bunt back to Wagner, Eason plated Taylor (single).
Scotland scored the eventual game-winning run with two outs in the bottom of the fifth. Eli McCoy, who led off with a double, scored on a passed ball.
Seagraves (double, single) and Taylor (two singles) led the team with two hits apiece. Eason, Lowry, Phifer and Mason Murray each had a single. Driving in one run each were Eason and Phifer.
With the regular season in the books, Richmond (12-10, 6-6 SAC) will prepare for the SAC tournament later this week.
Ransom said due to a three-way tie for fourth place in the SAC standings between Richmond, Scotland and Union Pines High School, the brackets won’t be finalized until after a coaches meeting on Tuesday morning.
All 6-6 in SAC play, the Raiders swept the Vikings and lost both games to Scotland, while Union Pines defeated the Scots twice.
Ransom said some sort of tiebreaker will be used to determine the seeding. The Richmond Observer will update this article once the final brackets are made available.