ROCKINGHAM — James Buie had a feeling it was coming, he just had to make sure he wasn’t too anxious.
After watching a curve ball called for a strike and another for a ball, Buie figured South Central’s Matt Summers was going to throw a fastball with a 1-1 count.
He was right.
Summers threw a fastball to the Richmond third baseman. Buie launched the ball into left-center for a double to score courtesy runner Dylan Callahan with a game-winning run as the Raiders defeated the Falcons 4-3 in 10 innings Tuesday night. The win sends Richmond into a fourth-round matchup with J.H. Rose in Greenville Friday. Game time has not been set. Rose advanced with a 6-4 victory over Hoggard.
“I knew he was going to come back with a fastball,” Buie said. “As soon as he released it, I knew it was down the middle. All I had to do was keep my shoulder in and drive it into the gap.”
It was Buie’s fourth hit of the contest and he credits his hot streak to some advice he received from assistant coach Brad Denson before the game.
“He told me to choke up about an inch on the bat,” Buie said.
The simple advice to Buie helped Richmond pitcher Cody Leviner earn the complete-game victory. Leviner allowed seven hits, one walk, one hit batter and struck out nine in 10 innings on 116 pitches. He allowed three runs, but only one was earned.
“My arm isn’t so bad,” Leviner said. “It’s my whole body that’s sore. I’m worn out.”
Richmond coach Ricky Young thought the junior right-hander performed well.
“He battled his butt off out there,” Young said. “We gave them some runs, Cody pitched great out there.”
Richmond’s winning rally started with two outs with a Bradley Brown blooper over the head of South Central third baseman Matt Conlin, setting the stage for Buie’s heroics.
“They played great defense,” Young said about South Central. “It was a heck of a game to watch. I’m glad to have the opportunity to play another game.”
Brown finished with two hits and a run batted in for the Raiders (20-6-1). South Central’s Phillip Ellis had two hits and scored a run in the loss. Dylan Cunningham added a double and an RBI for the Falcons (14-10).
Reach sports editor Shawn Stinson 910-997-3111, ext. 14 or on Twitter @scgolfer.