Tuesday, 14 May 2019 17:26

Six Raider seniors named to 2019 All-SAC team; Parris tabbed 'Pitcher of the Year'

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The Raiders had six senior players named to the 2019 All-SAC team. The Raiders had six senior players named to the 2019 All-SAC team. Deon Cranford — The Richmond Observer.

ROCKINGHAM — Six Richmond Senior High School senior baseball players capped their respective playing careers with their first career All-Sandhills Athletic Conference team selection Tuesday.

Head coach Ricky Young released the complete 25-player roster Tuesday morning, seeing Pinecrest High School and Richmond topping the list with the most selections. Each team, which finished No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in the SAC standings this season, had five players named to the general roster.

The Raiders and Patriots also added another player to the roster, seeing the top individual accolades represented by seniors Hunter Parris (Richmond) and Bryce Calcutt (Pinecrest). Parris was named the SAC’s “Pitcher of the Year,” while Calcutt earned “Player of the Year.”

Representing the Raiders’ five roster spots were Tyler Bass (shortstop, pitcher), Cameron Carraway (first base, pitcher), Jake Ransom (first base, designated hitter), Garet Weigman (catcher) and Brett Young (second base).

Jeff Hewitt, Pinecrest’s head coach, was named “Coach of the Year.” The Raiders’ six total selections doubled that of last season’s team.

“I was pleased that we were able to get this many representatives on the All-Conference team,” Ricky Young said Tuesday. “Hunter's only conference loss was a 1-0 game (against Scotland High School), so he was lights out all year and deserved the ‘Pitcher of the Year’ award.

“The other guys were also very deserving of being named All-Conference,” he added. “I’m happy for each of them for being recognized for their contributions to our team this season.”

The Raiders finished the season with a 19-9 overall record, while posting an 11-3 mark in SAC play. Richmond earned a No. 10 seed made it to the second round of the NCHSAA 4A state playoffs for the second straight year, but saw its season come to an end Friday at No. 7 Hough High School.

What’s unique about the six seniors named to this season’s team is that they’ve all played baseball together since their middle school days at Rockingham Middle School. All six were a big part of the Raiders’ 11-game winning streak earlier in the season.

Tyler Bass

Brunswick Community College baseball commit

Bass fulfilled the role of Richmond’s every day shortstop this season, while also filling in as the No. 3 starting pitcher. On the mound he earned a 5-1 record, winning his first five decisions. Perhaps his best outing was a 10-2 win over rival Scotland, where he pitched six innings in the third-place game of the Beach Diamond Invitational.

He was also the team’s leadoff hitter, and was third on the team with a .315 average. Bass collected 23 hits, with two doubles and six RBIs. His nine stolen bases were second-best on the team.

“It means a lot to me knowing all the hard work I’ve put in,” Bass said of his selection. “I couldn’t have done it without my teammates pushing me to do better each and every day.

“The best part of my final season was just enjoying each day with my friends,” the future Dolphin freshman added. “The best game experience was watching Brett hit the walk-off against R.J. Reynolds in the first round of the playoffs.”

Cameron Carraway

Wingate University baseball commit

Carraway split time as the Raiders’ No. 2 pitcher behind Parris and put in a lot of innings at first base. Helping him onto the All-SAC team was his team-leading .371 batting average, which ranked in the top six of the conference. He swatted a team-leading 24 hits, 23 RBIs and seven doubles, and tied with Ransom with two homers.

He tallied a career-high five RBIs in a 14-4 win over Lumberton High School in the SAC tournament opener. On the mound, Carraway won five games, and came up big in the playoff game against Reynolds. He inherited a bases-loaded situation with one out in the top of the ninth, and pitch 3.2 scoreless innings to preserve the win.

“It means a lot to me to get my first selection as a senior, and it was a personal goal for me,” Carraway said. “I’ve worked extremely hard the past four years and it feels good for it to pay off.

“I couldn’t have done it without my teammates,” he added. “I’m proud to share this honor with some of my best friends. Having six guys on the All-Conference team says a lot about our program and our coaches. We have good tradition and culture at Richmond.”

Hunter Parris

Parris was dubbed as Richmond’s No. 1 pitcher this season, while also spending some time at third base. He racked up a team-leading six wins, which was also the most of any pitcher in the SAC. He lost only one SAC game, and earned a win in each of his first six outings.

He also led the club and the SAC in innings pitched (66), and his 60 strikeouts were best on the team and fourth in the conference. Parris’ earned run average of 1.17 was also impressive, coming in at the third lowest among all SAC pitchers, behind Jack Britt High School’s Chase Jernigan (0.79) and Alex Reyna (0.84).

“It’s a big accomplishment of mine,” Parris said of earning Pitcher of the Year. “I wanted to stand out and do what I could for my team and it worked out in my favor.

“I didn’t expect to get the award,” he added. “Once I got through a few games, and everything was working well for us, I saw hope for new things such as this. I worked hard in the offseason knowing I’d have to step up and be big on the mound this year. And it all paid off.”

Jake Ransom

UNC-Charlotte football commit

Ransom, who will attend UNC-Charlotte as a preferred walk-on offensive lineman, helped bring the boom with his bat in 2019. Splitting time as the Raiders’ DH and first baseman, Ransom batted a team second-best .333 and was just behind Carraway at the top of the stat sheet. In 27 games, Ransom had 24 hits, 22 RBIs and scored a team-high 16 runs (tied with Bass).

During a week in early March, Ransom crushed both of his home runs, which happened to be grand slams. His first was part of a 14-0 mercy-rule win over Purnell Swett High School, and the second one came a few days later against Pinecrest. Tied at one in the seventh, Ransom’s grand slam broke the game open en route to a 6-1 win.

“It really means a lot to me to be honored with the rest of these guys,” Ransom said. “I’ve played with these guys on our team all my life and it means a lot to me to see that they are here with me.

“They both really mean a lot because I’ve worked extremely hard to get to this point,” Ransom said of making All-SAC in both football and baseball this year.

Garet Weigman

Guilford College baseball commit

Weigman has spent the last two seasons behind the plate as the Raiders’ catcher, calling pitches and adjusting to a revolving door of pitchers. During his senior campaign, Weigman caught eight different pitchers, while posting a .984 fielding percentage. He also caught several runners stealing, the biggest being a pickoff in the eighth inning of the opening round playoff game.

On offense, Weigman batted .274 and hit six doubles, which was tied for second-best on the team. His RBI double in the top of the second inning of Friday’s second round playoff game served as Richmond’s only run-scoring hit. Weigman notched 20 hits in his final season, and brought home eight runs.

“It means a lot to finish my senior year by getting All-Conference,” Weigman said. “It shows me that if I put in the work, it will all pay off in the end.

“I’ve done a good job this season blocking pitches in the dirt and framing a lot of strikes,” he added. “Those were two things that Coach Young told me to work on. Another thing that made me stand out was being aggressive defensively whenever there was an opportunity for an out to be made. I always gave 100 percent effort to get the out and help the team.”

Brett Young

Brett Young served as the main reason why the Raiders made it to the second round of the state playoffs this season. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the 12th inning, Young hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score Garret Richardson for the walk-off run. On the season, Young batted .274 with 23 hits and 13 RBIs.

Batting in the No. 2 hole, Young swiped a team-leading 15 bases in 2019. His defensive play at second base saw him make 40 putous and collect 41 assists, all while recording a .910 fielding percentage.

“This means a lot to me because it was a goal for me at the beginning of the season,” Brett Young said. “It’s an honor, and I can always look back on my last season of baseball knowing that I had a good year.

“My teammates recognized for this accomplishment are some of my closest friends,” he continued. “We’ve played together our whole lives, and I know, as much as everyone, that they’re solid players. It’s well-deserving for them.”

Kyle Pillar

Sports Editor. IUP communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

Submit local sports scores to: kpillar@richmondobserver.com

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