SANFORD — A quick glance at the statistics from Richmond Senior’s contest with West Johnston shows the Raiders should have come out on top.
However, numbers can be deceiving.
Despite recording more than twice as many hits as its opposition and putting a base runner on every inning, Richmond fell 3-2 in the semifinals of the Central Carolina Scholastic Summer League playoffs Friday night at Lee County’s Norman T. Oldham Stadium. The Raiders had nine hits in the game, while the Wildcats managed four off Nic Bullard and James Buie.
“We didn’t hit with runners in scoring position,” Richmond coach Ricky Young said. “It’s just baseball. We put ourselves in good position, we didn’t push the runs across.”
For the game, the Raiders were 3 for 14 with runners in scoring position against Wildcat starting pitcher Alex Mattes. West Johnston, on the other hand, was 2-of-6 in the contest, including Tripp Atkinson’s game-winning two-run single in the bottom of the fifth.
“We have got to step up and score the run,” said Richmond shortstop Drew Butler, who was 2 for 3 in the game. “We have got to do whatever it takes to get the run in.”
Richmond scored its initial run of the contest on a wild pitch in the third inning and added a tally in the fifth on a ground out. West Johnston pushed across its first run on a fielder’s choice to tie the game in the fourth before Atkinson’s heroics an inning later.
Even though the Raiders missed out on playing for the championship, Young was pleased with his team’s overall effort during the CCSSL season which could be the catalyst for another successful spring season.
“We had a good summer,” Young said. “We had some things that carried over from the spring. I’m excited about upcoming year.”
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at email@example.com