LAURINBURG — Nic Bullard threw a complete-game three-hit shutout to lead Richmond to a 3-0 win over Scotland.
A senior, Bullard said he doesn’t feel any pressure throwing against his rival and enjoys getting the start against them.
“It’s always the biggest game of the year no matter what,” Bullard said.
The “biggest game of the year” was not very dramatic thanks to Bullard’s performance. Richmond coach Ricky Young said the he got what he expected from his ace.
“Nic’s been big for us for the last three years. When he takes the mound we expect to win and he did exactly what he was supposed to do,” Young said. “He threw strikes and got some big outs to get out of some situations.”
Despite the low hit totals, Scotland was able to put numerous players on base because of poor fielding behind Bullard. It was unable to capitalize on the miscues as Bullard would escape without any damage each time. Scotland ended up stranding eight runners on the night.
Scotland has only scored one run in its last two games, losing 2-1 to Lumberton on Tuesday. Coach Jamie Coleman said the Scots need to figure out how to seize on opportunities.
“They didn’t field it real well so we had our opportunities, but we just didn’t take advantage of them. Simple as that. We have to grow up and do some soul-searching between now and next week because it’s borderline embarrassing because you know these kids can play better,” Coleman said. “I talked to them all week that it’s going to be tough. We’re not going to win the game in the first or second inning, maybe not even fifth inning. They’re going to rally and we’ll have to answer. We just didn’t do it tonight.”
Coleman praised the pitching effort by Bullard, who has made several starts against Scotland over his career.
“Some kids get up there with a nice arm and can overpower you with stuff, but that kid’s a pitcher. When you’re throwing changeups when you’re behind in the count for strikes and when you get runners on second and third with less than one out and you bear down and don’t give up a run, that’s a quality pitcher. He had our number,” Coleman said.
Richmond scored two of its runs in the second inning courtesy of an error at first base. Mike Rush reached safely allowing Brandon Gibson and Cody Mullen to score. The Raiders added a third run in the fourth when Rush came home on a wild pitch in the dirt that got past Sam Gray.
“I thought we missed some opportunities to get some more, but we were able to scratch out enough with Nic on the mound to get the job done,” Young said.
Dylan Ward got the start for the mound for the Scots and also threw a complete game. He collected eight strikeouts, four walks and five hits.
Richmond improves to 8-4-1 overall and 4-1 in the Southeastern Conference with the win. They are tied with Lumberton for first place in the SEC. Scotland, meanwhile, falls to 2-6 overall and 2-3 in the SEC. That puts them level with Purnell Swett. Hoke is 0-6 in the conference.