ROCKINGHAM — It may not have been what the doctor ordered, but it was what Richmond coach Ricky Young wanted.
An easy victory.
Following two tough contests to open the season, Richmond scored early and often to cruise to an 11-1 nonconference victory over Anson in five innings Tuesday afternoon at Raider Field. The Raiders have now won two straight to improve to 2-1 on the season.
Before the game, Young told his team this would be the “ideal” situation to get all of the reserves playing time. Richmond’s backups recorded six of the team’s 14 hits.
“They responded when they got the chance,” Young said. “Depth this year is going to be huge for us. I want to play them as much as I can because they all work so hard in practice.”
Not only was Young able to move players in and out of the lineup against the Bearcats, he also had the opportunity to run new faces to the mound as well.
Mikey Steele and Brandon Gibson made their pitching debuts for the Raiders. Steele pitched a scoreless inning, striking out two. Gibson surrendered Anson’s lone run in the fifth on two hits, a base on balls and recorded two strikeouts.
James Buie earned the win, allowing one hit in three innings with two strikeouts. Buie was credited with the victory relief in Friday’s come-from-behind win over Charlotte Christian.
Despite the easy victory, Young focused on one statistic — errors. Richmond committed three in the victory, something Young says cannot happen if his team wants to be successful.
“We will address that in practice tomorrow,” Young said. “I just think the guys weren’t ready to have the ball to them at the time.”
The Raiders weren’t the only ones experiencing fielding problems in the contest. The Bearcats had four in the first two innings, leading to five unearned runs. Richmond’s Bradley Brown capped a five-run second with a two-run home run to right center.
“I was early on his first fastball on 3-1 and fouled it off,” Brown said. “I sat back, waited for the pitch and drove it. I have been trying to kill the ball instead of relaxing at the plate.”
Richmond will return to action 6 p.m. Thursday when they travel to Marlboro County, S.C. The game was originally scheduled for 7 p.m. today. Richmond will close out the week with a game at 7 p.m. Friday against West Johnston in Benson.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @scgolfer.