GREENSBORO — There is still a little life left in the Richmond Senior baseball team.
Ethan Baucom launched a game-tying home run in the bottom of the seventh and four batters later Cody Leviner hit the game-winning single as Richmond rallied for an 8-7 victory over West Forsyth in Game 2 of the 4A championship series Saturday afternoon at UNC Greensboro Baseball Stadium.
It was Baucom’s team-leading fifth homer on the season and his third of the playoffs.
“It was a fastball, my favorite pitch to hit,” Baucom said. “I was loaded up for it. If it was anything else I wasn’t going to hit it.”
Baucom spent the day trying to find a bat he was comfortable with after the umpires told him wasn’t able to use his usual one because they feared it was cracked.
“It’s just a paint chip, it’s been like that forever,” Baucom said. “I ended up using Jose’s (Joseph Griffith) bat.”
Following Baucom’s blast with one-out, Taylor McLean singled to left and moved to second on Matt Pettit’s ground out to second. Pinch hitter John Taylor drew a walk to keep the inning alive, setting up Leviner’s heroics.
“I know I sound like a broken record, but these guys don’t quit,” Richmond coach Ricky Young said. “They know it’s a seven-inning game. They believe in each other.”
Alex Vanderstok was saddled with the loss, allowing three hits — all in the seventh — two earned runs and struck out three.
“We have a lot of confidence in Alex,” West Forsyth coach Brad Bullard said. “He throws hard.”
Richmond jumped out to a 6-0 lead after two innings. It took advantage of two West Forsyth errors in the second to plate five runs and chase starter Travis Holden after 1 2/3 innings. Holden enter the game with a 6-2 record and a 1.20 ERA.
The Raiders loaded the bases in both innings against Holden, but hit into an inning-ending double play in the first.
“Even though we were up 6-0, I thought we left some runs out there,” Young said. “You have to give them credit because they battled back.”
Joe Butler earned the victory in relief Leviner, allowing one hit in 2 1/3 innings.
The teams will return to UNCG Baseball Stadium for the decisive Game 3 at 5 p.m.
Reach sports editor Shawn Stinson at 910-997-3111, ext. 14 or on Twitter @scgolfer.