ROCKINGHAM — Before the season started Richmond boys tennis coach Paula York knew her depth was going to be beneficial.
That came to the forefront against Hoke County.
Despite losing at No. 1 singles, the Raiders rolled to an 8-1 Southeastern Conference victory over the Bucks Thursday afternoon.
“It’s great starting the conference season with a win,” York said. “This week has been a good warm-up for next week. We have three matches and I expect play to pick up.”
Earning victories for Richmond in singles were: Andrew Balzer, Brandon Ingram, John Pittman, Gary Boyette and Logan Deese. Bryant Terrones snared the lone Hoke win, downing Colt Auman 6-3, 6-3.
In doubles, Balzer and Ingram combined to take down John Sellers and Terrones, 8-6. Auman and Pittman teamed to stop Noah Thaggard and Ethan Matz, 8-1. Boyette and Deese beat Deandre Jackson and Justin Glass, 8-3.
Richmond (2-0, 1-0) will return to action 4 p.m. Monday when it travels to East Montgomery before returning to SEC action at Purnell Swett Tuesday.
“It is supposed to be beautiful weather next week,” York said. “We are hoping for warmer weather. I thought we handled the wind and weather conditions very well today.”
Raiders take down Dragons
BENNETTSVILLE, S.C. — Cierra Bowden allowed two hits and struck out seven in a complete-game victory in her season debut in the pitching circle, helping Richmond Senior defeat Marlboro Academy, 5-1, Thursday afternoon.
Bowden also helped her cause at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a run batted in.
“Cierra pitched really well,” Richmond coach Wendy Wallace said. “She threw 60 strikes and only 27 balls.”
Jessica Steen went 3 of 4 with two RBIs and Ashton Davenport and Summer Jacobs each had two hits in four at-bats.
“I was pleased with getting 13 hits and we did a good job when we had runners in scoring position,” Wallace said.
The Raiders (3-1) will return to action 4:30 p.m. Monday when they travel to face Anson.
Richmond slides past Marlboro County
BENNETTSVILLE, S.C. — Bradley Brown went five innings and Cody Leviner picked up the save as Richmond Senior edged Marlboro County S.C. 3-1 Thursday afternoon.
James Buie had two hits, including a double and a run batted in, to lead the Raider offensive attack. Taylor McLean had a double and an RBI for Richmond (3-1) and Jacob Sears added an RBI-single.
“Our pitchers did a great job throwing strikes and limiting their opportunities,” Richmond coach Ricky Young said. “We left a few runners in scoring position, but we got some big hits at the right time as well to drive in our three runs.”
Richmond will return to the diamond at 7 p.m. today when it travels to West Johnston.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @scgolfer.