LUMBERTON — Richmond Senior pitcher Nic Bullard struck out two of the first three Lumberton batters he faced.
It was a sign of things to come.
Bullard struck out at least two Pirates in every inning but the sixth, finishing with 13 strikeouts in a complete-game shutout as Lumberton fell 9-0 in a Southeastern Conference showdown Friday night at Finley Read Field.
“He was around the plate, the ball tailed away, and he had a nice curveball that he threw for strikes on the outside,” Lumberton coach Paul Hodges said of Bullard, who gave up four hits. “I think our kids just got up there guessing instead of being aggressive and getting first- and second-pitch fastballs and hacking at it.”
Meanwhile the Pirates, who went through four pitchers, couldn’t find their spots from the hill — and the Raiders took advantage.
Richmond (16-4, 5-2), which racked up 12 hits, scored three runs in the third off of an error and three hits, anchored by back-to-back RBI knocks from Mikey Steele and Adam Sweatt that gave the Raiders a 4-0 lead.
“We were basically falling behind in the count and having to feed them nothing but fastballs,” Hodges said. “Richmond’s a team that crowds the plate and they dare you … They’re either going to get hit by a pitch or hit it hard.”
The Raiders did more of the latter in their four-run sixth inning, where Bradley Brown belted an RBI double and Bullard later provided a two-run single to widen the gap to 9-0. Brown finished 3-for-3 while Bullard went 2-for-4.
“He’s a good pitcher. He’s been good all year for us,” Richmond coach Ricky Young said about Bullard. “He had an ERA of 0.20 coming in. We expected him to do well and he delivered.”
Richmond will return to action 5 p.m. against Hoke County to compete a suspended game from April 5.
Raiders breeze to SEC win
LUMBERTON — The Richmond Senior softball team recorded 11 hits en route to a 9-2 Southeastern Conference victory over Lumberton Friday night.
Chelsea Davis led the attack with three hits. Davis had a triple and a run batted in. Jennifer Steen and Hunter Parks were each 2-of-4 with a double and two RBIs. Elizabeth Pittman added a run-scoring single for the Raiders.
Parks earned the win on the mound for Richmond. The sophomore right-hander limited the Pirates to two hits, while striking out five. Both of Lumberton’s runs were unearned.
“We hit the ball well tonight,” Richmond coach Wendy Wallace said. “It was just one or two people. Just about everyone got a hit. Hopefully we can keep swinging like this into the playoffs.”
Richmond (13-7, 6-2) will return to the diamond at 7 p.m. Tuesday at home against Pinecrest. The Raiders were originally scheduled to play Cheraw today, but the game was canceled because of Cheraw’s prom.
Scotland edges Richmond in track
ROCKINGHAM — The Scotland boys track team posted a score of 93, while Richmond Senior finished with a team total of 76, while Purnell Swett had six points in an Southeastern Conference meet Thursday afternoon at Raider Stadium.
Richmond’s Jordan Richardson finished first in both the shotput and the discus. He qualified for regionals in both events. Robert Williams also claimed wins in the triple jump as well as the high jump. Shun Bloomfield was victorious in the long jump. Trent Green was the only Raider in win an individual track event, capturing the 400-meter run.
In the relay events, the Raiders’ 4x800-meter team of Randy Altman, Aaron Green, Sean Thompson and Cedric Hinson finished first. In the 4x100-meter, Dakwa Nichols, Xavier Brown, Devante Watkins and Bloomfield were first.
” Overall the boys did a tremendous job,” Richmond coach Reggie Miller said. “The boys took first in all the field events. Scotland has a tremendous team and they are well coached. We competed right with them. It was a dogfight but at the end they edged us out.”
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson contributed to this story.