ROCKINGHAM — It couldn’t have been scripted any better for Richmond Senior — trailing by two with the bases loaded, one out and the heart of the lineup coming up.
Unfortunately for Richmond, there was no fairy tale ending.
Ryan Holmes escaped the trouble as Southern Lee posted a 3-2 non-conference victory Thursday night at Raider Field.
“We were in a good position at the end of the game, we just didn’t produce,” Richmond coach Ricky Young said.
After a fly out to open the seventh, Cody Leviner reached on an error. Then both Mike Rush and Matt Pettit singled to load the bases with Richmond’s No. 3, 4 and 5 hitters coming up.
Holmes, Southern Lee’s third pitcher of the night, coaxed Bradley Brown to ground out to first for the second out. On the play, Leviner raced home to trim the deficit to 2-1 and Rush and Pettit moved up to second and third. Holmes then slammed the door on Richmond’s rally, getting Taylor McLean to fly out to right to end the threat and the game.
Holmes earned the save, protecting the win for starter Ben Gaster, who hurled four scoreless innings. Alex Bullard allowed a run on two hits in two innings of work.
“We have to get a better approach to guys that throw off speed,” Young said. “We have to let the ball travel. We just try to pull everything and you can’t do that when you get off-speed pitching.”
Joe Butler was saddled with the loss for Richmond in his first career varsity start. Butler allowed one earned run in six innings and struck out six. Ethan Baucom pitched a scoreless inning in relief.
“He pitched well enough to win,” Young said. “He served better than what he got. We let a ball get by us in the outfield and threw another one away. That’s what this games are for to get guys some experience. He did a great job.”
Richmond (7-4-1) will return to Southeastern Conference play 7 p.m. today when it travels to Laurinburg to face rival Scotland.
Richmond grabs second in tennis
ROCKINGHAM — The Richmond Senior boys tennis team clinched second place in the Southeastern Conference with a 7-2 victory over Scotland Thursday afternoon.
Colt Auman, Andrew Balzer, Brandon Ingram, John Pittman and Ryan Watkins were all victorious in singles play for the Raiders (11-2 overall, 8-2 in the SEC). Both Auman and Ingram finished the regular season undefeated in singles.
Tivon Ganzy earned the only victory for the Scots in singles, downing Hill Pence 6-4, 3-6, 12-10.
Balzer-Ingram and Auman-Pittman won their doubles contests. Scotland earned its final point as Shane Dubbs and Ganzy defeated Pence and Watkins.
The team will return to action 11 a.m. Tuesday at Hoke for the SEC tournament.
Track teams compete at Scotland
LAURINBURG — The Richmond Senior boys track team placed first and the girls were second at a tri-team SEC meet Thursday afternoon at Scotland.
The boys team finished with 72 points to edge Scotland, which had 68. Pinecrest was third with 35. On the girls side, Pinecrest won the event with 56 points, Richmond had 48 and Scotland totaled 28.
Erran Green was first in the 100-meter, Travis Newton took first in the 200 and Alphonso Jones was first in the shot put. Richmond’s 4x100, 4x200 and 4x400 teams were all victorious.
Dasha Everett claimed first in the both the discus and shot put. Brianna David was first in the 100 hurdles, Asiana Douglas took first in the long jump, Corrisa Wall won the high jump and Brianna Everett won the 100.