ROCKINGHAM — The Richmond Rattlers had a chance to end the 2018 Central Carolina Scholastic Summer League season on a 12-game winning streak with a win over the Lee County Spinners on Thursday, but they fell just short of the achievement.
Richmond went down on the scoreboard early after the Spinners recorded three consecutive hits at the top of the first inning. Rising senior Hunter Parris gave up a double, a single and then a two-run, two-out double — which put the visiting team ahead 2-0. Parris walked the next batter, but bounced back by forcing a fly ball to close the opening inning.
Tyler Bass, rising senior shortstop, led off with a single in the bottom of the first, but back-to-back pop flies — along with Bass getting caught at second — got the Rattlers offense off the field without any runs scored.
The second inning, as well as the top of the third, went by quickly with only one hit — courtesy of Lee County — being recorded. The bottom of the third, however, took some time due to the Rattlers finally plating a couple of runs.
Parris led the bottom half of the third off with the fly ball, both rising senior Evan Hudson and rising junior Luke Preslar was able to make it on base, and then Hudson raced home on a passed ball to bring Richmond within a run.
After rising senior Chris Austin was walked, Bass stepped up to the plate and cracked an RBI single to tie the game at 2-all. However, Bass, Austin and rising senior Garet Weigman were left on base thanks to two consecutive strikeouts.
The Spinners answered quickly at the top of the fourth by loading the bases — thanks to a pair of singles and runner getting to first base. A couple of base hits later and the away team went ahead 4-2 with only one out.
Richmond (11-3) didn’t allow any more runs but couldn’t score enough of their own to win their 12th straight, as it put one on the scoreboard in the bottom of the seventh and then failed to take advantage of the two runners that made it on base.
Parris ended up pitching 6 ⅓ innings, giving up four runs on nine hits and earning five strikeouts. Rising junior Mitchell Paul came in as the relief at the top of the seventh and was able to keep the Spinners from scoring again.
There will be no CCSSL Tournament this season, which means the Rattlers won’t get the chance to defend their 2017 tournament championship run.
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.