Rappahannock Raiders varsity baseball team off to fast start
The Rappahannock Raiders Varsity Baseball team ran their record to 5-0 after the first two weeks of the season with two wins over Mathews and a win apiece over Middlesex, King William, and West Point. “We have many things to improve,” said head coach Larry Barker, “but I like what I see. This team has enormous potential.”
The Raiders started the season by taking a doubleheader from Mathews at Mathews. The Raiders won three to nothing behind solid pitching, tough defense, and timely hitting. The Raiders jumped ahead 1-0 in the top of the first when Marquis Lanier led the game off with a single, stole second and third, and scored on Mitchell Hale’s rbi single. The Raiders scored their second run in the top of the third when Eamonn Collins drew a walk, made it to third on a Ken Pierson single, and scored when Pierson was picked off of first, but stayed alive long enough in the rundown for Collins to scamper home. “It was a heads up play by both of them,” stated Coach Barker. The Raiders final run came in the top of the fourth inning when Austin Hall reached base on a walk and was driven in by Caleb Self’s RBI single.
The three runs were all that the Raiders pitchers needed. Mitchell Hale picked up the win for the Raiders by pitching the first three innings and striking out six Mathews hitters. Eamonn Collins recorded a save by pitching the last two innings without allowing a run.
The Raiders won game two 4-0. The Raiders plated their first run in the bottom of the second when Hunter Sanders singled, stole second base, and scored on Chance Herbert’s rbi single. The Raider’s scored two runs in the bottom of the third. Romeo Jackson walked and scored on Eamonn Collins’s double; Collins then was driven home by Mithcell Hale’s single. In the fourth inning the Raiders scored their fourth and final run when Ken Pierson singled and was driven in by Austin Hall’s sacrifice fly.
As in game one, the Raiders hurlers only needed one run to hold off Mathews. Hunter Sanders started the game on the hill and went three innings without allowing a run. “Sanders did a great job. He threw strikes and we played solid defense,” said Barker. Eamonn Collins, as he did in game one, pitched the final two innings striking out four to earn his second save of the day.
Against Middlesex, the Raiders sent fourteen hitters to the plate in the top of the first inning before Middlesex ever recorded an out. After the first inning was over the Raiders were ahead 14-1 and it was never close until the game ended after five innings with the Raiders coming out on top 18-3. Overall, Raider hitters collected 17 hits off of Middlesex pitching. Every Raider starter had at least one hit, and every Raider starter scored at least one run. Eamonn Collins, Mitchell Hale, Hunter Sanders, and Chance Herbert each had multiple hits; Hale added a homerun, and Collins had two homeruns. Devin Sisson and Jacob Jewell pitched for the Raiders with Sisson picking up the win.
The Raiders held on to win 4-1 at King William behind solid pitching from Mitchell Hale and Eamonn Collins. The Raiders scored the first run of the game in the top of the second inning. Chance Herbert walked and scored on an Austin Hall rbi single. After King William tied the game in the top of the third inning, the Raiders scored one run in the top of the fourth to take the lead for good. Herbert again reached first and scored when Eamonn Collins walked with the bases loaded. The two runs were all that Hale and Collins needed. Hale pitched the first two innings and Collins the last five to hold King William to a single run. The two hurlers struck out eleven King William batters. Hale added insurance to the Raider lead in the top of the seventh with a two run homerun giving the Raiders a 4-1 victory.
The Raiders closed out the first two weeks of the season with a 6-0 victory over West Point. Austin Scott picked up the win for the Raiders while pitching the first five innings. Scott struck out five West Point hitters and allowed only one hit. Hunter Sanders closed out the final two innings striking out three. “Our pitchers are doing a good job. We have some pitching!” exclaimed Coach Barker. Marquis Lanier, Eamonn Collins, Mitchell Hale, and Hunter Sanders each collected hits for the Raiders. The Raiders again played excellent defense; they did not commit an error in the game. Romeo Jackson’s diving catch of a line drive in the gap sealed the victory for the final out of game. The Raiders play at West Point and Lancaster next week.