It was a roller coaster week for the Rappahannock Raiders varsity baseball team. The Raiders defeated Washington and Lee 6-5 in a thrilling comeback last Tuesday, but lost Thursday to Essex 9-2. The split left the Raiders at 8-2 overall and 2-1 in the Northern Neck District.
Against Washington and Lee, the Raiders trailed the Eagles 5-2 going into the bottom of the seventh inning. The Raiders scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh and earned a hard fought victory. The Raiders trailed the entire game after taking an early lead.
In the bottom of the first Rappahannock took a 1-0 lead when Will Hoover walked and was driven in by Mitchell Hale’s RBI double. Washington and Lee scored four runs in the top of the
seventh by taking advantage of Raiders starting pitcher Devin Sisson’s control problems. Four batters walked in the inning and Carrington Balderson had a two RBI single.
Washington and Lee scored another run in the top of the fourth off of reliever Dylan Dunn and went ahead of the Raiders 5-1. It seemed at the time that was all the runs they would need.
Carrington Balderson was pitching an excellent game for the Eagles. After five innings Balderson had held the Raiders to one hit and had struck out five Raider hitters. But the Raiders offense began to click in the bottom of the sixth taking advantage of several errors by the Eagles.
The Raiders made the score 5-2 with a run in the bottom of the sixth. Tucker Douglas walked and scored on Chance Herbert’s single. In the bottom of the seventh inning the Raiders completed their comeback. Will Hoover walked to lead off the inning. Eamonn Collins reached first with a hard groundball that could not be played by the Eagle third basemen. Mitchell Hale then hit his second double of the day and scored Hoover and Collins. Romeo Jackson pinch ran for Hale and was driven in by Tucker Douglas’s ground out to third. Devin Sisson walked, was moved to third base by Dylan Dunn, and the stage was set for Hunter Sanders to deliver the winning run. Sanders drove in Sisson by hitting a sacrifice fly to right field. It was a thrilling win for the Raiders, but things would not go so well Thursday against Essex.
Against the Trojans, the Raiders defense and a bad day. The Raiders committed six errors and the Raider’s pitchers gave up nine walks in a frustrating 9-2 loss. The Raiders took an early lead in the first inning when Eamonn Collins drove in Marquis Lanier with an RBI single. Essex scored two runs in the second aided by Raider errors, and one more in the top of the third when Taylor Shackleford drove in Kinston Carson with a single. The Trojans scored six runs in the fourth aided by numerous walks and Alex Balderson’s two RBI double off of Raider starter Eamonn Collins.
Rappahannock scored one more run in the bottom of the fifth when Hunter Sanders singled and Will Hoover drove in Sanders with an RBI single. Hoover had two hits for the Raiders. Dylan Dunn, Eamonn Collins, and Hunter Sanders also had hits. It was a disappointing loss for the Raiders, but head coach Larry Barker was not discouraged. “We just have to turn the page. We’ll put this one behind us. Essex is a good team; there is no shame losing to Essex. We didn’t play well, but we’ll be ready to go next week. This is a good team.”