Raiders set to open summer season

Shawn Stinson|Daily Journal Outfielder Chase Haywood is one of the Richmond Senior baseball team’s returning starters. The Raiders will open their summer schedule Monday at home.

ROCKINGHAM — Richmond Senior baseball coach Ricky Young believes the success his teams have enjoyed in the spring was a result of the effort the players put in during the summer.

Young is hoping for more of the same in the coming weeks.

Richmond will begin its Central Carolina Scholastic Summer League schedule 7 p.m. Monday at home against North Moore. Richmond’s junior team will hit the field first at 4:30 p.m., also versus North Moore.

“I’m excited about the kids we have coming up,” Young said. “I think they will be hungry and looking for opportunities to prove themselves. I think we’ll play hard.”

In what seems to be an annual tradition, Richmond will be looking to replace five starters, another part-time starter and both of its top starting pitchers.

All five of its all-Southeastern Conference selections from this past season graduated as well.

Cody Leviner was a three-time all-league pick as a shortstop/pitcher. Leviner batted .303 with two home runs and eight runs batted in. The Western Carolina signee had 20 hits, a double, two triples, stole six bases and scored 17 runs. On the mound, Leviner was 2-2 with a 2.16 ERA. He struck out 66 and walked seven in 55 innings.

Outfielder Ethan Baucom is a two-time all-SEC pick. The UNC Pembroke signee hit .338 as a senior with three home runs and 15 RBIs. He had five doubles, a triple and stole 11 bases.

Pitcher Joe Butler is a first-time honoree after posting a 7-1 record and notching a save. Butler had a 1.82 ERA, he struck out 74 and walked 14 in 50 innings. Butler will attend Florence-Darlington Technical.

Infielder Joseph Griffith was also a first-time all-conference selection. He hit .246 but recorded a .469 on-base percentage. He had two doubles, a home run and 10 RBIs. He drew 15 walks and was hit by nine pitchers. Griffith will attend Erskine and play soccer.

Second baseman Dylan Callahan, a Guilford College commit, batted .387 with three doubles, 11 RBIs and six stolen bases.

Richmond also lost right fielder Montek Johnson, who will play football at Guilford, and part-time starting catcher Dylan Carpenter, who will play baseball at Methodist.

Chase Haywood and Dalton Leviner will headline a group of returning players from this past season’s 17-8 team.

Also back for Young is starting pitcher Corey Dove.

Haywood was the team’s starting left fielder and lead-off batter. Leviner started the majority of games at third base. Young said Dove “threw really well at the beginning and the end of the season.”

Young is also excited about outfielders Bryce Dixon and Devon Hunt. Dixon started seeing significant playing time toward the end of the season, while Hunt was regulated to pinch-running duties for the majority of games after injuring his wrist during the preseason.

Designated hitter/pitcher Daniel Long and catcher Noah Stubbs suffered season-ending injuries during the spring. Young is hopeful that Long will be able to return to the field during the summer, but he isn’t sure about Stubbs’ status. Young said Long is scheduled to return to the doctor Monday, while Stubbs will not go back until July.

“We need them healthy,” Young said.

Dove is expected to anchor a Richmond pitching staff that will also feature Nick Honeycutt and Long if he can return this summer.

“Nick and Daniel gave us some good quality innings on the varsity,” Young said. “I think we have good, quality depth with a lot of people who can pitch.”

Reach managing editor Shawn Stinson at 910-817-2671 and follow him on Twitter @scgolfer.