ROCKINGHAM — Richmond Senior baseball coach Ricky Young was looking for games this summer when he got a phone call from Chesterfield coach Chris Lloyd.
Despite losing seven starters and nine seniors from last season’s South Carolina 2A District IV championship, Lloyd wanted to test his young team.
“We have six seniors this season and only two have varsity experience,” Lloyd said. “I told the team it was going to be good competition and playing teams like Richmond would help us get better.”
Lloyd’s inexperienced Rams took advantage of five Raider errors to rally for a 6-5 victory Wednesday night at Raider Field.
“When you walk or hit 10 and commit five errors, you aren’t going to beat anybody,” Young said. “This is embarrassing. We haven’t had that problem in the last three or four years. People need to be more focused going into the game.
“It’s embarrassing, we totally beat ourselves. I have to give them (Chesterfield) credit because they took advantage of our mistakes.”
Richmond (3-1-1) scored twice in the fifth inning to take a 3-2 lead. Joe Butler had a run-scoring single and Taylor McLean lifted a sacrifice fly to right to account for the runs before the visitors seized control of the contest.
Chesterfield (2-0) responded in the sixth on three miscues in the field by Richmond. Danzel Rivers doubled to left-center to open the inning against Butler, who relieved starter James Buie. Rivers moved to third on a wild pitch before Bryan Watson grounded out to Butler. Landon Walters was hit by pitch on a 3-2 count. David Grant hit a dribbler to third, Buie fielded the ball cleanly and elected to look Rivers back as Grant reached first safely to load the bases.
Butler stuck out Dillon Rivers, then walked Jeremiah Roscoe to force Danzel Rivers home to tie the game. Butler appeared to be out of the inning as Barron Pearson hit a grounder to third. Buie was unable to come up with the ball as Walters and Grant raced home to give the Rams a 5-3 lead.
Young said even though he had Nic Bullard available after throwing in the bullpen earlier in the game, he wasn’t going to use his ace unless it was a save situation.
“He needed to throw a bullpen session for Friday’s start,” Young said. “Plus these non-conference games give us a chance to put people in pressure situations to see how they handle it. We can’t always rely on Nic and Cody (Leviner).”
The Rams added an insurance run in the seventh on an RBI-single by Grant to drive in Cooper Stone.
The Raiders attempted to mount a rally in their half of the seventh after Leviner and Mike Rush reached safely. The pair advanced to third and second on a wild pitch. Leviner scored a Kevin Lee’s ground out to second as Rush moved to third. Rush scored on Bradley Brown’s ground out for the final run of the game.
Richmond will return to action 7 p.m. Friday when it plays host to Northwest Guilford.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson may be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14 or on Twitter @scgolfer.