Richmond’s senior team certainly falls into that category. Winners of eight straight, the Raiders (11-2) earned the top seed in the Central Carolina Summer Scholastic League playoffs and will face the winner of a Wednesday night first-round matchup between Grays Creek and Jack Britt tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Pinecrest.
Richmond coach Ricky Young said his squad has displayed just the kind of fighting spirit he likes.
“This team doesn’t quit,” Young said.
Indeed, several of the victories during that eight-game winning streak were of the come-from-behind variety.
The 10-team CCSSL tournament is a battle of attrition, taking place over four consecutive days this week from Wednesday through Saturday. Two teams from each of the CCSSL’s five divisions make the tournament; Lumberton also made it.
That kind of grueling bracket favors teams with a deep pitching staff, and Young’s Raiders have that. Peter Howe, Luke Bullard, Ryan Mercer and Austin Brower have shouldered much of the load all summer. If needed, Chandler Conner and Jordan Tucker can also take the mound.
The Raiders have put together all three elements of winning baseball this summer, Young said: Good hitting, pitching and defense.
Continued success in the playoffs will require Richmond to keep that up.
“We’ve been swinging some hot bats lately,” Young said.
The main thrust of the summer baseball program is to look at players and get a good idea of what next spring’s varsity squad could look like. That often leads to patchwork lineups, especially when you factor in summer vacations, summer jobs, and other sports commitments.
But the Raiders have had pretty good chemistry this summer, Young said. “We’ve tried to play everyone, but the goal is still to win,” Young added.
The Raiders are playing with a lot of confidence right now, and Young hopes that continues.
“We tell our kids, ‘Play against the game,’” Young said. “If we keep playing our game, good things will happen.”
Contact sports editor David Vantress at 997-3111, ext. 14 or via email at email@example.com.