ROCKINGHAM — Lumberton coach Paul Hodges left Raider Field after his team’s first loss in Southeastern Conference play wondering what could have been.
Lumberton committed four errors in the second inning and Richmond took advantage of those miscues to score five runs en route to posting a 7-1 victory Friday night.
Richmond has now won four straight to improve to 7-2-1 overall and 3-0 in the SEC. Lumberton falls to 6-5 and 2-1.
“It could have been a 2-1 game going into the final innings,” Hodges said. “We didn’t make the routine plays. They weren’t tough plays, just routine plays. I thought Richmond did a good job putting the ball in play. We have to make those plays.”
Those miscues forced Lumberton starter Evan Odum to throw 34 pitches in the second instead of a possible 11 and Hodges thought it got his young pitcher out of his rhythm.
Daniel Oxendine let Taylor McLean’s ground ball roll through his legs for a two-base error, after a strikeout, Ethan Baucom reached on an error by Dylan Floyd.
Brandon Gibson followed with a run-scoring double. On the play, Baucom was stopped at third by Richmond coach Ricky Young, but the relay throw bounced away from Raleigh Forrest and Floyd, allowing Baucom to score. Another error by Floyd later in the inning helped Richmond score another two runs.
“We had some good hits sandwiched between those errors,” Young said. “We did a good job capitalizing on the errors. I really liked our approach at the plate.”
The five-run outburst was more than enough offense to back Richmond starting pitcher Nic Bullard. The senior left-hander surrendered three hits and struck out seven in six innings. After allowing a leadoff single to Oxendine in the third, Bullard retired the last 12 batters he faced, including striking out four of the final five.
“I thought he did a good job of settling down,” Young said after Bullard allowed an unearned run in the opening inning. “After the first, we played pretty good defense behind him. Nic did a good job of pounding the strike zone.”
Richmond was scheduled to action to action today in a junior varsity-varsity doubleheader against West Johnston, but Young called the game because of inclement weather.
Richmond will now return to action 7 p.m. Tuesday when it travels to Pinecrest. Lumberton will play host to Scotland 7 p.m. Tuesday.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson may be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14 or on Twitter @scgolfer.