LAURINBURG — The plot twists in the Fighting Scots season finale against Richmond on Friday were ones for the history books.
Two Scotland runs wiped off the board by the umpires, Richmond’s starting pitcher ejected after an altercation and a five-run sixth inning by the Fighting Scots to win the game.
Richmond took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning as Raiders senior Drew Loving scored on a ground-out from junior Cam Carraway. Loving got into scoring position on a fielding error by the Scots before stealing third and racing home as Carraway’s ball rolled to Scots shortstop Daly Marcano.
Scotland responded in the top of the third with two runs from catcher Zac Phillips and center fielder Davon Ratliffe. The officials ruled that Phillips did not touch home plate and was called out. It was not determined unti later that Ratliffe’s run didn’t count either, giving Richmond back a 1-0 lead.
The Raiders extended their lead by another run in the fifth inning as senior Gordon Pihl was brought in fellow senior Braxton Furstein’s double. Richmond scored two more runs to take a 4-0 lead on a two-run base hit by junior Garet Weigman.
Scotland responded with three hits that drove in five runs in the top of the sixth inning. Sophomore Matt Sellers, Nic Callahan, Austin Norton, Stewart Evans and Marcano made sure to touch the plate and score the five runs the Scots need to steal a 5-4 from the Raiders on Senior Night.
Scotland finishes the season 14-9 overall and 8-6 in conference play to earn the No. 5 seed in the tournament. The Fighting Scots will get a third game against No. 4 Hoke (8-6), a team the Scots split their series with during the regular season. The Scots lost a coin flip to decided seeding after both teams finished 8-6 in SAC-8 play.
The Fighting Scots and Hoke met towards the end of March, in their first game the Scots lost 10-2 before turning around three days later and beating the Bucks, 5-1 in Raeford.
There was some animosity between the two teams after their last meeting. Traditionally after the game the teams meet in the middle of the infield to shake hands, that didn’t happen. The Scots had a brief meeting after the win in the infield waiting for Hoke to come out of the dugout to shake hands, but the Bucks trotted off to left field and did not congratulate their conference opponent on their victory.
One Hoke player had to be held back by several of his teammates because he was visibly upset.
The two will meet again in Raeford on Tuesday in the first round of the SAC-8 tournament at 7 p.m. The other first-round match ups pit No. 6 Purnell (6-8) against No. 3 Richmond (9-5) in Rockingham while No. 7 Lumberton (3-11) heads to Hope Mills to take on No. 2 Jack Britt (10-4).
No. 8 Seventy-First (0-14) will be on the road in Southern Pines to take on the regular season SAC-8 champion Pinecrest (12-2).
The winner of Purnell/Richmond will take on the winner of Lumberton/Jack Britt. The winner of Scotland/Hoke will play the winner of Seventy-First/Pinecrest on Wednesday, May 2 at 7 p.m. with the higher seeded team hosting.
The SAC-8 championship game will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 4 with the higher seeded team hosting.
Seeding for the NCHSAA 4A playoffs will take place on Monday, May 7 and first round games will begin on Wednesday, May 9.
Amber Hatten-Staley can be reached at 910-506-3170 or [email protected]