SOUTHERN PINES — Mikey Steele had an RBI-groundout to put Richmond Senior ahead for good and Adam Sweatt added a run-scoring single in the 11th to give the Raiders a 10-8 victory over Pinecrest in the semifinal round of the Southeastern Conference tournament.
The win allows Richmond to claim the No. 2 seed from the SEC when the 4A state playoff brackets are released next week. The Raiders and the Patriots finished tied for second in the regular season standings.
Richmond will face Scotland in Thursday’s SEC title game in Laurinburg. The Scots advanced with a 9-1 victory over Lumberton.
“We were going all-in tonight to get the second seed,” Richmond coach Ricky Young said. “It was a classic game. I’m happy out guys hung tough, we had plenty of opportunities to fold.”
The Raiders went through five pitchers — Nic Bullard, Bradley Brown, Ryan Mercer, James Buie and Austin Brower — in the contest.
“We will worry about Thursday night on Thursday,” Young said. “I think the guys will be relaxed we have nothing to lose.”
Scotland is expected to start Curt Britt for the third time this season against Richmond.
Raiders fall in opening round
CARY — The Green Hope boys tennis team won five of the six singles matches to claim a 5-1 victory over Richmond Senior in the first round of the 4A state dual tennis tournament Tuesday afternoon.
Alex Auman, the Raiders No. 1 player, won the only point for the Raiders when his opponent, Kelly Patch, retired in the first set leading 5-2.
In the other singles matches, Matt Hammond knocked off Colt Auman 6-1, 6-0, while Louis Rico blanked Andrew Balzer 6-0, 6-0. Kyle Burns cruised past Ryan McInnis 6-0, 6-0. Michael Neighbors downed Brandon Ingram 6-2, 6-1 and Mark Wicklengren defeated Juan Olmos 6-0, 6-1.
“It was a good experience for the kids,” Richmond coach Paula York said. “We knew it was going to be tough going in because Green Hope was 17-0. It was going to be a challenge.”
The Auman brothers will participate in the 4A regionals doubles tournament beginning Friday at Fayetteville’s Mazarick Park.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at email@example.com