ROCKINGHAM — The official 2021 All-Sandhills Athletic Conference baseball team was announced Monday, and three junior players from Richmond Senior High School were recognized.
Alston Johnson, Matthew Walker and Cameron Way represented the Raiders on the 23-player roster. It’s the first career postseason selection for all three rising seniors.
The All-SAC baseball team was released following Purnell Swett High School’s third-round exit in the NCHSAA 4A state playoffs over the weekend.
Pinecrest High School, which won the SAC regular-season championship, had a conference-best six players named. Scotland High School and Purnell Swett both added five players.
Richmond finished the regular season with a 5-9 overall record and a 4-8 mark against SAC opponents, which put the Raiders in fifth place.
“All three of these guys are deserving to make All-Conference,” head coach Rob Ransom said. “They swung the bat well and were our most consistent players during conference play.
“I’m really proud of them for all of their hard work,” he added. “They stayed positive during a season that had a lot of ups and downs. They were guys we looked to get us going, and they were our catalysts. We expect big things out of them next year, too.”
Alston Johnson, junior second baseman
Serving as the Raiders’ leadoff batter and starting second baseman, Johnson was a spark at the top of the lineup. He led Richmond with a .439 batting average and also collected a team-high 18 hits.
Johnson had four extra-base hits, three doubles and a triple, and also scored the most runs on the team (16) thanks to his team-leading .547 on-base percentage. On the base paths, Johnson swiped 12 bases, which also led the Raiders, and he recorded eight RBIs.
Matthew Walker, junior left fielder
Batting in the No. 3 hole, Walker also produced big numbers at the plate with a .326 batting average. The left-handed hitter roped 15 hits, including two doubles and a triple, and brought home a team-high 10 RBIs.
Crossing the plate 11 times, which was tied for second on the team, Walker had a .392 on-base percentage. He stole seven bases, which was also second-best for the Raiders.
Cameron Way, junior shortstop, pitcher
Way was Richmond’s regular starter at short, but also made 10 appearances on the mound this spring. He threw 26.0 innings and struck out 25 batters in the process.
At the plate, Way hit second for the Raiders and finished second in the lineup with a .364 batting average. His 16 hits were second behind Johnson, while his five extra-base hits led the Raiders. Way had three doubles and tied with teammate Colin Wheeler with two home runs.
Scoring 11 runs and recording nine RBIs, Way was second on the team in both categories. His on-base percentage was .444 and he was perfect on stolen bases attempts, going 5-for-5.
All three players are set to begin summer ball this week with Richmond’s summer league team, the Renegades, and will return for their senior campaign next spring.