ROCKINGHAM — It wasn’t like Tuesday’s victory in Cameron, when they scored a season-high 15 runs in just five innings, but the Richmond Rattlers were able to get the job done with another win over Union Pines on Wednesday.
They gave up a run in the top of the first inning but held Union Pines with a score over the next six innings in order to walk away from their home field with a 5-1 victory — extending their winning streak to seven games in Central Carolina Scholastic Summer League play.
“The biggest thing is we’ve pitched really well,” head coach Ricky Young said of his team’s performance during the streak. “One thing we’ve been trying to preach to these guys is that we’re not going to be able to strike out 10 or 12 people per game. Our focus has to be to throw strikes and make routine plays, and we’ll have a chance to win every game.
“I think we’re going to be really good defensively, so we’ve got to take advantage of that,” he added.
Rising senior Hunter Parris and rising junior Luke Preslar took care of the pitching duties on Wednesday, with Young saying both “threw really well” while on the mound.
Parris retired Union Pines’ batters in order at the top of the second, striking out two batters to start the inning, and was able to make a double play in the fourth after catching a popped bunt and then quickly getting the ball to second base before the opposing runner was able to make it back on.
Preslar came in at the top of the sixth inning, forcing three groundouts in his first slice of action. He would give up a single in the seventh before ending the game with his first and only strikeout of the night.
“Luke’s last time out (on the mound) at Fuquay-Varina was kind of rough, so I was glad to see him kind of bounce back and throw well,” Young said,”because he can get some outs for us.”
After Richmond went down on the scoreboard at the top of the first, rising senior Jake Ransom stepped to the plate and cracked an RBI single during his first at-bat to tie the game up 1-1. Catcher Garet Weigman, also a rising senior, recorded a base hit two bats later but nothing came of it and he ended up being left on base.
The bottom of the third inning is when the Rattlers began to gain momentum, as rising senior Brett Young was able to get to second base on a dropped ball in the outfield. He would make his way home moments later after a throw to the Union Pines third baseman — as he was sliding in — was mishandled, giving the Rattlers the advantage.
Ransom, who was walked and then advanced on a single from Cam Carraway, scored on another Union Pines error to push the lead to three runs. Rising senior Tyler Bass brought in Jahan Jones — who came in to base run for Carraway — with his RBI single and put the Rattlers ahead 4-1.
Carraway’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fourth inning was the team’s fifth and final run scored on the night.
“We’ve just got to worry about playing against the game and not who we’re playing,” the coach said of the Rattlers’ next game. “Just do things right and let everything take care of itself.”
Richmond (7-2) will travel to Union Pines on Thursday to cap the team’s three-game, three-day stand.
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.