LAURINBURG —Even though the scoreboard said different, Richmond Senior and Scotland walked off the field Thursday night as winners.
The record books will show the Fighting Scots were able to raise two trophies as the Southeastern Conference regular season and tournament champions following their 10-1 victory, but the Raiders won their “championship game” 48 hours earlier.
With their extra-inning victory over Pinecrest on Tuesday, it broke the tie for the second seed from the SEC when the North Carolina High School Athletic Association releases its playoff brackets next week. The first round is scheduled to begin either next Thursday or Friday.
“It’s been a long week,” Richmond coach Ricky Young said.
After losing the coin flip with Pinecrest, Richmond was forced to play three games in four days. After edging Hoke County on Monday night, the Raiders needed 11 innings to down the Patriots for right to face the Fighting Scots in the title tilt.
Young used five pitchers against the Patriots, which forced him to turn the ball over to Jacob Sears. Young was pleased with Sears’ performance despite an uneven pitching line. Sears went 3 1/3 innings, allowing seven hits and seven runs. Only four of those runs were earned after the Raiders committed five errors behind him.
“Jacob did everything we asked of him tonight,” Young said. “If we make plays his pitch count is lower and he’s able to go deeper in the game. Plus it’s a tighter game. If you don’t play good defense against a good team, you get 10-1 games.
“I’m not happy with our defense tonight.”
One of the lone bright spots for Richmond in the contest was Bradley Brown. The sophomore catcher had both of the Raiders’ hits in the game in three at-bats.
In addition, Richmond was finally able to dent the plate against Scotland this season. After being shutout in the first two games by Curt Britt, the Raiders ended their 19 2/3 inning scoring drought when courtesy runner Mike Rush scored on a Britt wild pitch with two outs in the fourth inning.
The Raiders are slated to return to action Monday at Union Pines, but Young cautioned the contest could be canceled.
“It depends on if they make it to their conference finals this weekend,” Young said. “I would much rather play than practice.”
Locklear perfect against Scotland
PEMBROKE — Purnell Swett’s Alexis Locklear tossed a perfect game as the Rams blanked Scotland 6-0 in the Southeastern Conference softball conference title game.
With Purnell Swett victory, Richmond locked itself into the No. 2 seed from the conference when the softball brackets are released next week.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at email@example.com