ROCKINGHAM — The coin flip didn’t work out the way Richmond Senior baseball coach Ricky Young wanted.
Instead of earning the No. 2 seed in the Southeastern Conference tournament and receiving a bye in the opening round, the Raiders will battle sixth-seeded Hoke County at 7 p.m. Monday.
Richmond, which had its nine-game winning streak snapped Thursday by Scotland, are 18-5 on the year. The Raiders swept the season-series with the Bucks, winning the first game 8-2 and rallying for an 8-7 victory in the second contest.
The winner of the Richmond-Hoke clash will travel to play Pinecrest, the No. 2 seed, at 7 p.m. Tuesday. In the other opening round contest, Purnell Swett will take on its in-county rival Lumberton. The SEC’s regular season champion, Scotland, will face either the Rams or the Pirates in the semifinals.
If there is any good news for Young and his team is that despite losing the coin flip for the bye in the conference tournament, the Raiders can still grab the second seed for the state 4A playoffs from the Patriots. If Richmond and Pinecrest meet in the semifinals, the winner of that contest will be the No. 2 seed. If the Bucks were to upset both the Raiders and the Patriots, then there could be a play-in game to break the tie.
There were no worries about a tie in the standings in softball after Richmond knocked off Scotland Thursday night. The victory allowed the Raiders to finish alone in second behind Purnell Swett. Both teams receive byes in the opening round of the SEC tournament.
Richmond (15-7) will take on the winner of the Scotland-Hoke contest at 7 p.m. Tuesday at home, while Purnell Swett will play host to either Lumberton or Pinecrest.
The Raiders swept the season series from both the Fighting Scots and the Bucks. Richmond won the initial contest with Scotland 5-0, before claiming an 8-2 victory. Richmond posted two shutout victories against Hoke, winning 17-0 in Raeford and 7-0 in a rain-shortened contest at home.
The Richmond girls soccer team will open the SEC tournament at Raider Stadium against Hoke at 7 p.m. Monday. The Raiders finished fourth in the regular season.
In the season series, the Raiders defeated the Bucks in the first game 2-1 on the road, before battling to a 1-all tie in the second match.
The winner of the game will face Pinecrest, the regular season champion, at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Southern Pines. In the other half of the bracket, Scotland will face Purnell Swett in the opening round, with the victor to take on Lumberton.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org