SANFORD — Thursday’s varsity baseball game was more of a marathon than a sprint for the Richmond Renegades.
Jumping out to a five-run lead through the first three innings, the Renegades saw that lead cut to one before piling on the runs late in a 16-10 win over Lee County.
Dotting the scoreboard in four different innings, Richmond scored two in the first, added five runs in the third, broke the game open with six runs in the sixth and sealed the deal with three runs in the seventh.
Lee County tallied two runs early in the first, before making the game closer with eight runs in the final three innings.
The Renegades used a four-pitcher effort to return to the win column, starting with Allen Taylor (1.2 innings, two runs, three hits). Lefty Landon Taylor tossed 3.2 innings of work and allowed four runs on three hits.
Jason Walker and James Eason both threw 1.0 inning apiece, and gave up two runs each. The four pitchers combined for five strikeouts.
Both teams had nine hits, and Richmond (all singles) was led by Ashton Phifer, who had three base hits. Allen and Landon Taylor, Eason, Isaac Hinshaw, Zavier Lowry and Zane Searcy all chipped in with one hit.
Four different Renegades — Hinshaw, Phifer, Landon Taylor and Ethan Locklear — registered two RBIs. Eason and Lowry added one run driven in apiece.
Richmond also capitalized on eight free passes at the plate and seven fielding errors by Lee County.
Phifer led off the first with a single and later scored on a passed ball. Making it 2-0 was Hinshaw, who grounded into a double play, but scored Locklear (walk) from third.
Lee County tied the game with two runs on a balk and an RBI single in the home half.
The Renegades started to break the game open in the third, starting with a bases-loaded walk to Locklear. Trotting home was Cain Hunsucker, who was hit by a pitch in the first at-bat.
Still with one away, Eason reached following an error at first, giving Allen Taylor (walk) a chance to score.
Landon Taylor helped his cause with a two-RBI single to left field with the bases loaded. Scoring were Phifer (single) and Locklear.
Lowry made it a 7-2 lead when he hit a line drive RBI single to left field, plating Eason.
On the mound, Landon Taylor retired Lee County in order in the third and fourth frames. But a pair of singles, an error and a passed ball in the bottom of the fifth cut Richmond’s lead to 7-6.
The Renegades answered in the sixth by loading the bases with the first three batters (walks to Phifer and Locklear, Eason single). Hinshaw gave Richmond a cushion with a two-RBI base hit to right field in the next at-bat.
Eason scored the third run of the inning following another error, and both Hinshaw and Landon Taylor (walk) scored on a passed ball with Lowry at the dish.
Jullian Cline, who drew a walk, later scored on a wild pitch to give Richmond a 13-6 lead.
Two runs by the Spinners in the next half inning were answered by Richmond’s final three runs in the top of the seventh.
With one away and runners on second and third, Phifer widened the gap with his final hit, a two-RBI single. Scoring were Allen Taylor and Evan Hodges, who both reached via an error.
A flyout by Locklear in the next at-bat to first base proved deep enough to let Phifer tag up from third.
Lee County scored two runs off Eason in the seventh, but he shut the door with a strikeout to end the game.
Richmond (5-2) split its two games this week and will return to the diamond next Thursday at home against Southern Lee High School. First pitch is set for 7 p.m.