ROCKINGHAM — Richmond Senior’s next playoff game is scheduled for 7 p.m. today against D.H. Conley.
And Richmond coach Ricky Young said he will need every second of that time to try and get Raider Field ready for the second round clash.
A storm system Thursday that brought heavy rains at times into the area forced Young to work late into the night trying to drain the water off his field. At the same time, Young and his team were still trying to get ready for the Vikings. The rain pushed the Raiders indoors for its final preparations.
“We were able to swing the bats,” Young said. “The biggest thing this time of year is maintaining and keeping people healthy. We’re confident, but we know we’re facing a good team.”
Conley enters tonight’s game with a 16-7 record and knocked off Jack Britt 7-6 in the first round of the playoffs. It finished second in the Eastern Carolina Conference behind J.H. Rose.
This is the first year for the Vikings on 4A level after competing as a 3A school. Last season, Conley advanced to the 3A state championship series, falling to Weddington in three games. The Vikings return 12 players off last year’s 28-5 team.
“They’re a solid program. They were a 3A power,” Young said. “Coach Jason Mills does a good job. They will be well-coached. I think they are kind of young, but they are going to be very good.
“They will probably be like us, they want to get runners on and execute to get them over. This time of year, all the teams have the same thing in common — fundamentals.”
Richmond advanced with a 6-3 victory over West Johnston Tuesday night. Cody Leviner allowed five hits, three runs — two earned — over six innings. Nic Bullard pitched a scoreless seventh to earn the save. Ethan Baucom recorded two hits, including a two-run double in the first, as part of the five-run frame.
After the game, Young wasn’t pleased with his team’s intensity level after building a large cushion. He said he would address it.
“I think we had two really good practices,” Young said. “They understand we have to come out focused and stayed focused throughout the game.”
The winner of tonight’s contest will take on either New Hanover (17-6) or South Central (13-9) in the next round. In the other game involving a Southeastern Conference team, Pinecrest will travel to Greenville to square off with J.H. Rose at 7 p.m.
Reach sports editor Shawn Stinson 910-997-3111, ext. 14 or on Twitter @scgolfer.