ROCKINGHAM — Junior pitcher Trey Watkins had just earned his second consecutive strikeout of the inning, 13th of the night, and was eager to close out what would’ve been his first no-hitter of the season.
Up next was Lumberton’s Kelvin Ortega and all he wanted to do was either record another strikeout, force Ortega to ground out or get him to pop one in the air for an easy fly ball. But he never got the chance to see what could come of the matchup.
The umpire called on head coach Ricky Young to remove Watkins from the mound due to the junior reaching the maximum number of throws allowed in a single game — according to the NCHSAA’s pitch-count rule. So Young reluctantly replaced Watkins with senior Drew Loving and the Raiders had to settle for a combined no-hitter in the 5-0 victory over Lumberton.
Richmond (12-5, 5-4, SAC) extended its winning streak to seven games behind Watkins’ performance. Loving only threw a few pitches to Ortega before Pirate senior Caleb Wilkerson was caught stealing second to end the game.
At the bottom of the second inning, the Raiders scored their first run of the night thanks to Tyler Bass’ sacrifice bunt that scored Loving from third base. Loving led off with an infield single, stole second and then made it to third on a passed ball.
Loving crossed the plate again in the fourth after an error at third base. Richmond added two more runs in the fourth on an Alex Anderson sacrifice fly and another Lumberton error. Zack Hinson came home on Anderson’s pop fly and Ingram scored on the error.
Nolan Allen come in to base run for junior first baseman Jake Ransom, who was walked, in the fifth inning and ended up scoring the game’s final run. Allen stole second and was then brought home on an RBI single from Garet Weigman.
The Raiders will play at Lumberton on Friday.
Reach sports editor Leon Hargrove Jr. by phone at 910-817-2673 or by email at [email protected] For stories, scores and updates, follow the Daily Journal’s sports section on Twitter @RCDailySports.