Thursday, 11 July 2019 23:24

Rattlers fall to Pinecrest despite strong start from Honeycutt

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Senior Dallas Cowick turns a double play in the second inning of Thursday's loss to Pinecrest. Senior Dallas Cowick turns a double play in the second inning of Thursday's loss to Pinecrest. Kyle Pillar — The Richmond Observer.

ROCKINGHAM — The Richmond Rattlers’ varsity baseball team saw its three-game winning streak snapped Thursday despite a strong start from rising sophomore pitcher Harley Honeycutt.

A day after seeing their game postponed due to weather, the Rattlers hosted the Pinecrest Pines and fell 4-1. On Tuesday, Richmond took the first of the two-game set 8-5.

Honeycutt went five innings and gave up just two runs on three hits and five walks, while fellow sophomore JD Lampley tossed the final two frames. Lampley gave up two runs, one of which was unearned, on two hits.

The Rattlers’ bats also had trouble against Pinecrest’s pitching, collecting just three hits in the loss. Lampley and senior Austin Talton each had a single, while sophomore catcher Colin Wheeler split the alley for a double. Richmond would strand seven base runners on the night.

Both teams played scoreless baseball the first three innings, and Honeycutt started a 1-6-3 double play in the top of the second inning to escape an early jam. 

Pinecrest would take a 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning, using a leadoff double and a one-out single to put runners on the corners. Following a stolen base and a lineout to right field for the second out, the Pines scored two runs on an RBI single to center field.

The Pines threatened to score in the fifth, but Honeycutt escaped putting two runners on with walks thanks to a pop out foul to third baseman Cameron Way and a fly out to senior shortstop Dallas Cowick in shallow left field.

Richmond stranded runners in the first, third and fourth innings before finally breaking into the scoring column in the bottom of the fifth inning. Wheeler led off the inning with his double, and courtesy runner Jaheim Harrington replaced him on the base paths.

A walk to sophomore Alston Johnson moved Harrington to second, and a 6-4 fielder’s choice by sophomore Michael Pettitt put runners on the corners with one out. With Talton at the dish in the next at-bat, Pettitt hustled to steal second and drew the throw from the catcher, allowing Harrington to swipe home plate for Richmond’s lone run of the game.

Pettitt would be stranded at second thanks to a pair of strikeouts.

Pinecrest loaded the bases in the top of the sixth inning with one out, and a 6-4-3 double play attempt saw the out recorded at second but a throwing error extended the inning and allowed the final run to score.

The Rattlers made it interesting in the bottom of the seventh by loading the bases, but failed to bring anyone home.

The varsity club is now 5-4 this summer in the Central Carolina Scholastic Summer League and will return to play Monday when it hosts Union Pines at 7 p.m.

Kyle Pillar

Three-time award-winning sports editor. Indiana University of Pennsylvania communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

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