Home Local Sports Raiders rout Freedom Christian Academy on senior night

Raiders rout Freedom Christian Academy on senior night

Sophomore Mason Murray (6) tags out J.J. McNaughten on a relay to the plate during Tuesday's win. (Kyle Pillar, sports editor)

ROCKINGHAM — Senior night was a success for the Richmond Raider baseball team, which got back in the win column on Tuesday.

Snapping a two-game skid, the Raiders defeated non-conference Freedom Christian Academy 10-1.

Ahead of the game, head coach Rob Ransom and public address announcer Daniel Diggs recognized this year’s three senior players — Ethan Clayton, Ethan Lockler and Ashton Phifer, all of whom contributed in the victory.

For his second straight outing, Locklear dominated opposing batters. He earned his second win of the season with a complete game and limited the Patriots to one unearned run and seven hits.

Filling up the zone, Locklear struck out six batters, including the final out of the game.

Clayton and Phifer did their part at the plate, as the two left-handed batters combined for five runs batted in. 

Phifer went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles and three RBI and a run scored, while Clayton drove in two runs on one hit and scored twice.

Leading the team at the dish was junior Isaac Hinshaw, whose 2-for-3 effort yielded a double and a game-high four RBI.

Locklear stranded a pair of runners in both the first and second innings, but a passed ball following a leadoff double in the third gave the Patriots a 1-0 lead.

Richmond responded with two runs in the home half of the third with two away. Junior Zaviar Lowry recorded the team’s first hit, an infield single to third, and a walk drawn by junior Camron Seagraves set up Clayton’s two RBI.

Smacking a single to right field, Clayton easily scored Lowry from second and Seagraves used his speed to score when Clayton advanced to second on the initial throw to the plate.

Camron Seagraves (11) and Zaviar Lowry high-five after scoring in the third innings. (Kyle Pillar/The Richmond Observer)

The Raiders’ win was dotted with defensive plays that helped save runs in a close ball game early. Locklear picked off a runner trying to steal third in the second, and another big play was an 8-6-2 double play for the first two outs in the fourth.

Junior James Eason caught a fly ball in center and started the relay home, hitting Seagraves at the cutoff, who fired home. Sophomore catcher Mason Murray caught the ball and tagged out J.J. McNaughten trying to advance.

Richmond opened the game up to a 5-1 lead with three more runs in the bottom of the fifth off starting pitcher Andrew Corney (4.1 IP, 4 hits, 5 runs, 4 walks). A Seagraves single and consecutive walks to Clayton and Eason loaded the bases for Hinshaw. 

Facing new pitcher Graysen Stafford (1.1 IP, 2 hits, 3 runs), Hinshaw drew a walk on four straight pitches to record his first RBI.


In the next at-bat, Phifer chopped a hard-hit single over the first baseman’s head into right field to score two more runs. Scoring safely were Clayton and Eason.

Murray struck again from behind the plate in the top of the fifth, hosing a runner trying to swipe second for the second out. Lowry was there to apply the tag.

Richmond’s biggest inning was a five-run bottom of the sixth, as all five runs were scored with two outs.

A leadoff single by Lowry, his second hit of the game, coupled with walks to Clayton and Eason, loaded the bases again for Hinshaw. 

This time the third baseman barreled up a three-RBI double to the corner in right, clearing the bases as the first batter to face reliever McNaughten.

Consecutive RBI singles from Phifer and Murray in the next two at-bats recorded Richmond’s final two runs. Freshman Caden Nolan, running for Hinshaw, and Phifer scored.

Locklear didn’t let a leadoff walk in the seventh lead to anything, as he went strikeout, fly out, strikeout to end the game. With the loss, Freedom Christian’ record fell to 10-11 on the season.

Continuing a string of three non-conference games this week, the Raiders (12-7) will hit the road for a game at West Stanly High School (16-3) on Thursday. 

The Colts and Raiders will begin at 6:30 p.m.

The Richmond Observer will publish a photo album of senior night shortly.

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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.