ROCKINGHAM — If Richmond baseball coach Ricky Young is going to do anything, he wants to win.
He is trying to relay that message to his young Raider baseball team during this year’s Central Carolinas Scholastic Summer Baseball League.
While the rules prevent Young and his staff from practicing with the team, Richmond managed to captured second place in the Deep South division and will advance to the CCSSL playoffs. The Raiders will battle Garner in the first round at 5 p.m. Monday at Southern Lee High School.
“I don’t know much about them, but I know they won their division,” Young said. “It’s the summer, they are a lot of kids coming and going because of vacations, showcase games or travel ball. We’re just going to go up there with the intention of winning.”
Last summer, the Raiders advanced to the semifinals before being knocked out by Southeastern Conference rival Lumberton 11-4.
“We didn’t have everyone there because of a showcase game,” Young said. “It’s good we get a chance to keep playing because the more we get to play together, the more the players will get to know what is expected of them. Plus, we get a chance to see them play in certain situations.
“Rules don’t allow us to practice with them too much in the spring, only around five or six days before we have to make a decision on them. This keeps the players a chance to show what they can do.”
A former pitcher at Methodist University, Young is pleased with the results he has seen from his staff. With only a handful of seniors expected to be on the roster in the spring, Young has been working with his pitchers on the mental part of the game.
“I’m excited with what they have done,” Young said. “I think we have a potential to do some good things on the mound. What we try to stress to the guys that will pitch significant innings for us is to be able to throw three pitches for strikes. You don’t have to have great stuff at this level, you just have to throw it for strikes.”
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