SANFORD – The exhausting heat of Friday didn’t deter the Richmond Rattlers senior baseball team from acquiring new hardware to bring back to Richmond County.
The Rattlers, managed by head coach Ricky Young, won the Central Carolina Scholastic Summer League championship defeating Rolesville High School 10-0 in five innings at Lee County High School. The title-clinching victory came after opening round and semifinal wins.
The CCSSL tournament, which spanned Thursday and Friday, was dominated by the Rattlers, as they won all three games by outscoring opponents 30-3. The Rattlers knocked off their first opponent Thursday, Bunn High School of Franklin County Schools, by a score of 9-2. In a great pitching performance, Drew Lovin took the hill for the Rattlers, pitching five solid innings, before Drew Grant closed out the final two. Adding to the offense were Cameron Carraway and Jake Ransom, both of whom collected three hits.
“Team-wise, in all three games, I thought we swung the bat really well,” Young said of his team’s offensive explosion. “The winning kind of took care of itself.”
In the semifinals matchup against Holly Springs High School (Wake County), the Rattlers breezed onto the championship game with an 11-1 victory in five innings behind a stellar complete game pitching performance by Jonathan Lee. Lee gave up three hits, struck out seven and allowed one unearned run. The Rattlers’ bats scattered nine hits, with Zack Hinson bringing in a pair of RBIs with a single. Trey Watkins added two runs with a double.
Following the rout of Holly Springs, Richmond continued its roll with a five-inning shutout of Rolesville High School (Wake County), defeating them 10-0. Watkins tossed a marvelous two-hitter gem, striking out seven. Collecting 12 hits as a team, the Rattlers were led offensively by Lee, who had two hits and two RBIs. Justin Ingram got into the mix, also contributing two hits, one of which was a double.
In celebrating the CCSSL title, Young is confident that this particular group of players will carry this momentum into next spring’s high school season. As many of the players on the Rattlers will represent the Richmond Senior High School Raiders team, it’s a vote of confidence for the program moving forward.
“This is a great momentum builder heading into next season,” Young noted. “There is great chemistry on this team, these guys have fun together. They do things the right way. Hopefully we can take these same things into next spring and continue to get better.”