SHALLOTTE — For the second straight contest, Mike Rush stepped up for Richmond Senior in crunch time.
After recording the game-winning single in Monday’s win over South Stanly, Rush lofted a sacrifice fly to right field in the bottom of the sixth to lift Richmond to a 4-3 victory against North Brunswick Tuesday in the Beach Diamond Invitational Baseball Tournament.
Richmond will battle the host school in today’s championship game. West Brunswick advanced with a 14-1 win over South Columbus in the other semifinal clash.
Rush finished the game with two of the Raiders’ six hits on the day against the Scorpions.
“It was a good win, they’re a solid team,” Richmond coach Ricky Young said. “They played in the 2A championship series last year and have a lot of their guys back. They’re a very athletic team.”
Richmond trailed 3-1 before tying the game in the bottom of the fifth. Nic Bullard was hit by a pitch to open the frame and Rush followed with a walk. After a balk moved courtesy runner Anthony Billingsley and Rush up to second and third, Cody Leviner hit a sacrifice fly to right-center to plate Billingsley. Rush advanced to third on a passed ball and Bradley Brown was intentionally walked. Montek Johnson ran for Brown and promptly stole second. James Buie hit a ground ball to short and Rush was thrown out at the plate on the play. Ethan Baucom followed by also hitting a grounder, but the North Brunswick shortstop was unable to field it cleanly, allowing Johnson to score to knot the game at 3-all.
One inning later another balk aided the Raiders in seizing the lead for good. Kevin Lee walked with one out and stole second. Bullard reached on a Texas Leaguer to shallow left, but Lee was unable to advance on the hit. A balk moved Lee and Billingsley (running for Bullard) up a base, allowing Rush’s heroics.
“I’m proud of the way we battled back after being down,” Young said. “I’m proud of the way we grinded out the win.”
Bullard picked up the win for the Raiders (12-6-1). The senior left-hander allowed nine hits, walked one and struck out three in the complete-game victory.
In the loser’s bracket of the tournament, South Stanly blanked Harrells Christian Academy 7-0 and Winslow Township (N.J.) slipped past East Columbus 4-3. Harrells Christian Academy and East Columbus will play for seventh place today at 10 a.m. South Stanly and Winslow Township will square off in the fifth-place contest at 1 p.m. North Brunswick and South Columbus will hit the field for third place at 4 p.m.
Richmond breezes past South Columbus
SHALLOTTE — The Richmond Senior softball team jumped out to a quick lead and breezed to its school-record 19th straight victory to open the season Tuesday morning.
Richmond scored four times in the first and added another three runs in the second en route to an 8-1 win over South Columbus in the Beach Diamond Invitational Softball Tournament.
“It was a good team win,” Richmond coach Wendy Wallace said. “We had several players come off the bench and produce.”
Jessica Steen led the way for the Raiders (19-0) with two hits. Katie Satterfield and Jennifer Steen each had a hit and knocked in two in the win.
Summer Jacobs earned the victory in the circle, surrendering three hits, walking one, striking out one and an earned run on Sadryne Jacobs’ solo home run in fifth. Nalee Jacobs, making her varsity debut, closed out the game by allowing one hit and striking out two in two innings.
“It is nice to come down here to the beach and be able to relax,” Wallace said. “We are having a good time, but it is nice to able to play everyone. It will be nice to do that again tomorrow.”
Richmond close out the round-robin part of the tournament against East Columbus at 10 a.m. today. The teams will then be seeded to battle for place. A victory by the Raiders would automatically send them into the championship tilt at 7 p.m.
Richmond takes 1st in boys track meet
ROCKINGHAM — The final results from a rare four-team Southeastern Conference track meet were posted this week.
Richmond finished with 107 1/2 points to edge Hoke by 12 1/2 points to claim the boys title. Purnell Swett was third at 38 and Lumberton took fourth with 14 1/2.
On the girls side, Hoke rolled to the title posting 151 1/2 points to defeat Richmond by 98 points. Purnell Swett grabbed third with 29 and Lumberton was fourth at 14.
Deaje Davis finished first in the 110- and 300-meter hurdles. Shannon Everett won the 800, Travis Newton took first in the 200, Brent Flowers captured the triple jump and Alphonso Jones earn the title in the shot put.
The Raiders had four participants took second, including Eumajesty Ward, who competed in the 110 hurdles and discus.
Hilde Horthe and Daesha Everette were the only girls to finish first for Richmond. Horthe won the 1,600 and Everette captured the shot put.
Horthe was second in the 3,200 and third in the 800, while Everette was also second in the discus.
Richmond’s track and field teams will return to action 4 p.m. today when it travels to Southern Pines for the Pinecrest Invitational.
Sports editor Shawn Stinson may be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14 or on Twitter @scgolfer.