LAURINBURG — It was a pitcher’s duel for the ages as Scotland and Richmond played extra innings on Senior Night on Wednesday.
A day later than originally planned because of rain, the rivalry did not disappoint as the two teams played eight innings to decide a victor. A pitch from senior Daly Marcano hung in the middle of the plate just a second too long and Richmond pinch hitter Jake Ransom hit a double to the center field wall to score Alex Anderson, who had reached on a walk to start the eighth.
Down 1-0 in the bottom of the eighth, Richmond put Drew Loving on the mound. Loving lasted one batter as Scotland’s Tyler Faulk was hit by a pitch.
The Raiders then put in their ace Jonathan Lee, who they were trying to save for Friday’s game, to face the Scots next three batters. Junior Austin Norton hit a long fly out to center for the first out of the inning before Stewart Evans struck out. With two out, senior Trey Armstrong came to the plate. Armstrong fouled off multiple pitches before Lee caught him looking for the final out of the game.
The 1-0 loss to Richmond stung, but even more so for the Scots six seniors in their final home game at McCoy Field.
Prior to the start of the game, the Scots recognized their seniors — Daly Marcano, Grant Burleson, Donovan O’Donnell, Trey Armstrong, Davon Ratliffe and Matthew Hyatt.
Marcano was on the mound for the Scots and pitched an outstanding game, as he threw all eight innings. The senior allowed one run off two hits with one error, three walks and three strikeouts.
Not only did Marcano get it done on the mound, minus one pitch, he also made the defensive play of the game to keep the Raiders from scoring in the top of the seventh.
A single to right-center by Loving gave the Raiders their first hit before Cameron Carraway was hit by a pitch. A bunt by Tyler Bass forced Marcano to throw the ball back to catcher Zac Phillips for the force at home. Marcano then single handedly completed a double play on the ensuing hit.
Richmond’s Brett young popped up a bunt and flight of foot Marcano caught the ball before it hit the ground. The Raiders runners were moving on contact and didn’t think to tag up, so Marcano ran over to first and tapped the bag to get Bass out and squelch the Raiders rally attempt.
With the loss, Scotland moves to 13-9 overall and 7-6 in conference play while Richmond improves to 17-5 overall and 9-4 in SAC-8 play.
The two teams will close out the regular season tonight in Rockingham, weather permitting. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m., but the Raiders will be celebrating their seniors prior to the start of the game.
Amber Hatten-Staley can be reached at 910-506-3170 or [email protected]