Home Local Sports Renegades mercy-rule Southern Lee in summer opener

Renegades mercy-rule Southern Lee in summer opener

Junior Zane Searcy watches as his two-RBI single finds the outfield grass. (Kyle Pillar, sports editor)

ROCKINGHAM — Making its summer debut on Wednesday, the Richmond Renegade baseball team earned a mercy-rule win.

Behind a complete game from senior starting pitcher Ethan Locklear, a game-high three RBIs from junior Zane Searcy and two hits and two RBIs by Ethan Clayton, the Renegades earned an 11-1 win over Southern Lee in five innings.

After a scoreless first inning, Richmond spread its scoring out over the second through fifth frames. The Renegades tallied three runs in the second, four runs in the third and scored two runs in both the fourth and fifth innings.

Locklear, who didn’t pitch for Richmond during spring ball, impressed by allowing just one unearned run and three hits. He sat 13 batters down via the punchout and stranded nine runners on base.

Senior Ethan Locklear recorded 13 strikeouts in Wednesday’s win over Southern Lee. (Kyle Pillar/The Richmond Observer)

After Locklear faced just eight batters through the first two innings, the Renegades gave him run support in the bottom of the second. Junior Zavier Lowry led off with a walk and later scored on a wild pitch.

Searcy dug in with two outs and runners on second and third and delivered a two-RBI single to left field. Scoring on the play to make it 3-0 were sophomores Landon Taylor (walk) and Jeremiah Ritter (walk).

Southern Lee scored its lone run of the game on a wild pitch in the top of the third.

Sophomore Allen Taylor led off the bottom of the third with a walk and scored when senior Ashton Phifer laced a triple to the wall in left-center. Two batters later, Clayton roped an RBI single to right, plating Phifer.

A double steal resulted in Richmond’s next run, as courtesy runner Javian Drake swiped second, allowing Locklear (walk) to beat the throw home. An error in left field on a Lowry fly ball capped the four-run inning.

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Locklear struck out the side in the top of the fourth, the final punchout coming with the bases loaded to preserve a 7-1 lead.

Drake, running for sophomore Mason Murray (hit-by-pitch) scored on a wild pitch in the home half. Searcy recorded his final RBI on a groundout to short, bringing in junior Cain Hunsucker (hit-by-pitch).

Ending the game early in the fifth were a Clayton RBI single to right (scoring Phifer, error) and an error on an Isaac Hinshaw fly ball to center.

Senior Ethan Clayton had two hits and two RBIs against Southern Lee. (Kyle Pillar/The Richmond Observer)

Clayton and Phifer led the team with two hits each, and Drake and Searcy each had one.

Richmond (1-0) will return to the diamond for a home game against Scotland on Thursday. First pitch is set for 7 p.m.

VIDEO INTERVIEW: Junior Zane Searcy had a team-high three RBIs in Wednesday’s 11-1 win over Southern Lee. Coach Corey Wallace adds the team was aggressive in several facets of the game.

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Kyle Pillar is a nine-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.